During the various campaigns carried out in the desert regions of planert Zi, both the Republic and Empire have fielded various Zoids suited to operating in extremely hot and treacherous environments. Many of these rolling testbeds are one of a kind customs established to research a specific technology. If successful, that technology is then refined and slowly adapted into wider production numbers.
The RZ-007-D Desert Scimitar Liger gets its name from the two curved ion blades mounted on either side of its body. Unlike the Blade Ligers laser blades, these are not articulated to achieve different angles of attack. Also, instead of heat, these blades utilize a heavy ion charge to disrupt the inner metabolism of Zoids sliced in battle. This ion charge can be dialed up or down to deliver anything from a stun to a fatal charge. Despite the lack of blade articulation, they are still large enough to cover a significant attack area.
While the triple barrel cannon has remained unchanged, the two beam guns on the back have been replaced with powerful beam rifles that fire more concentrated beams over a longer distance than the stock weapons. These guns are targeted with a combination infrared/ laser sight that are tied into the Ligers attack computer. When faced with multiple targets, the pilot selects the order of importance and the guns will automatically target and attack enemies with no more input from the pilot. These guns have a lock out mechanism to keep from shooting off portions of the Scimitars body that may come into the fire envelope while shooting at enemies.
While the twin expandable missile pods have been retained for medium range combat, to aid in long distance attack power (a major weakness for the standard Shield Liger), two long range missile racks have been added to the Desert Scimitars shoulders. These missiles are guided by a radar located on the back between the two beam rifles. The drawback is that the Scimitar must stand still briefly while firing these missiles since their shoulder mounting does not have a self righting mechanism to keep the launchers pointing straight during movement.
To aid in maneuverability, the front legs have been upgraded with three maneuvering thrusters each. These thrusters can fire in various combinations to allow the Scimitar to turn much faster, jump higher, and perform faster claw swipes. Boosters have also been added to the rear thighs to allow higher jumps, improved off the line acceleration, faster pouncing and linear twisting maneuvers. Since these boosters move with the thigh, they are only activated when the thighs are in a position where both boosters are aimed straight. As such, they dont improve actual running speeds.
The tail has been upgraded with a heavily armored heat sink to dissipate the extra heat the high powered weaponry and thrusters provide. This heat can also be channeled into the double blades located on the tip of the tail to make a very dangerous offensive weapon.
Finally, the Desert Scimitar Ligers attack computer uses an experimental linkage that works closer with the Zoid core to allow the Zoid to learn more from each of its battles than otherwise. While nowhere near as effective as an Organoid link or the type of AI systems being discussed in the Empire, its still rather effective.
|Captain James "Jack" Curtis
The chain smoking commanding officer of the 79th Republic Desert Platoon came up through the ranks to lead this platoon of experimental Zoids. "Captain Jack" grew up in the Republic capital, the son of a successful racing Zoid driver. While initially disinterested in Zoids, he nonetheless displayed an affinity for working on and piloting Zoids. Many thought that Jack would take over his fathers successful business and continue to live the good life. He shocked everyone when he joined the Republican Army on his 18th birthday, citing a thirst for adventure. While having more than enough money to travel wherever he liked, Jack wanted to see the world on his own accord. After a solemn promise to take over his fathers racing team one day, he received his parents blessing and headed out into the world.
Although his wealthy origins made him the target for initial harassment, fellow soldiers soon warmed up to Jacks easygoing style, excellent piloting skill, and natural ability with Zoids. His constant tinkering and "hot rodding" of Zoids allowed his platoon to always win inter-army competitions. He also began racking up an impressive list of enemy kills and became known as somewhat of an ace in Shield Ligers. But what really made him stand out to the Republics generals was when he assumed command during an Imperial raid that claimed the life of his former CO. Not only did he lead his fellow soldiers to victory without another loss, he succeeded in defeating five Iron Kongs on his own, thus making him a local legend.
Jacks natural leadership abilities, excellent combat skill, his loyalty inspiring demeanor, and proficiency in piloting Shield Ligers made him a perfect selection to lead the 79th Republic Desert Platoon in their top secret mission. The 79th consists entirely of experimental Zoids and Jacks Zoid is no different. He pilots the RZ-007-D Desert Scimitar Liger and has already established numerous kills. It looks like Jacks father will be waiting a while for his sons return!
Scimitar Liger with weapons fully engaged and in stored position.
Side views displaying weapons in armed and stored positions. Note maneuvering thrusters and missile launchers on front legs.
Weapons armed and stored from the rear. Rear boosters and tail heat sink/blades are visible.
Two slightly different angled shots of the front. The smooth nose is visible. Note IR targeting devices on the beam guns, as well as the target radar and missile launchers.
General and detail shots of the tail.
Two shots showing the beam gun's articulation along with the blades partially stored. Also note the areas where the bolts were changed or removed. Testors paints were used over a grey primer along with a wash made from The Detailer and flat coated with Testors lacquer. Approximate construction time: 75 hours.
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Note all images on this page are copright Dade W. Bell ©2002 unless otherwise noted.