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-030-D Gun Sniper Desert Custom is armed with a 65mm vulcan cannon that is tied into an intercooler to allow the gun to fire longer before overheating. The sniper gun on the tail has been given a lower caliber, but a higher muzzle velocity, so it can hit targets farther away. Because of a lower caliber, the RZ-030-D can carry more ammunition than previously. The sights for the gun have been fitted with IR, heat sensing, and laser targetting. The three-barrel vulcans on the arms have been replaced by concussion cannons and a grenade launcher has been mounted on the lower chest. For defense, two six pot smoke dischargers have been mounted on the shoulders. Because of the ever present sand, lower profile movement bolts have been fitted to the feet, shoulders, hands, and jaw. Larger rocket boosters were fitted to add extra speed for quick movement. Various handholds were added for easier maintenance and cockpit egress/ ingress. Tie downs were also added for better security during strong desert storms.

Sergent Cleo Smith

Age: 18

One of the rising stars of the Republic's Desert Army, Cleo is bright and has a natural affinity to Zoids. She was selected to pilot the Gun Sniper Desert Custom because of her preference for high speed Zoids and a steady trigger finger. She prefers to sit far away from the action and plink off enemies with her sniper rifle. Once discovered, she activates her Zoid's smoke dischargers and flees from the scene. However, if she's facing Zoids of similar weight class, Cleo will happily open fire with the 65mm vulcan. The gun's long firing time ability before overheating makes it an excellent weapon for a running battle. On the off chance an enemy enters into melee combat, two concussion cannon shots to the cockpit area usually changes their mind.

Cleo's excellent performance has not gone unnoticed and many have pegged her as being on the fast track to presidential guard duty. Unfortunately, this isn't necessarily in line with Cleo's personality since she prefers to be in the thick of things and has lived her entire life in the desert. Time will tell if her abilities may become too well known for her own good and remove her from her preferred life of excitement with a job that, while honorable, carries much less daily excitement.


Gun Sniper Desert Custom side view. The 65mm vulcan magazine is visible to the upper left of the thigh. Directly to the left of the thigh is the gun's cooling unit.


Side view where the 65mm vulcan is visible. Also note the smoke dischargers on the shoulders.


Dual concussion cannons mounted on the forearms. Grenade launcher is visible on the lower chest.



Missile pods open.



Larger rocket boosters and a refitted sniper gun with revised targetting devices.



Bottom view. The cooling unit for the 65mm vulcan cannon.


A comparison showing the differences between the stock model and this custom. For the model, the legs and arms had to be "completed" since the original versions were only 3-sided and didn't have complete inner areas. This was done with sheet styrene. The missile pods had the screw sink areas filled in and the top of the pods were made flat. Also note the areas where the bolts were changed or removed. A close look reveals the additional handholds and tie down points. Plastic tubing was used to make the barrels of the smaller guns and the vulcan cannon was sourced from a Gundam F-90 kit. 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: 20 hours.

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