Friday, July 13, 2012

Zoids: Red Horn

Presenting another relic pulled from the basement of the Dungeon, a Zoids Red Horn.

I remember kids watching the Zoids cartoon and hear them blurt out that the bad-guy rides a Triceratops. I just rolled my eyes and wondered what kids were being taught now in school. The Red Horn is clearly not a Triceratops - to begin with, it only has one horn - it's a Styracosaurus - a single horned dinosaur with a flaring armored crest.

And I've always liked the Red Horn - even if he is a "bad-guy" zoid. It's tough: well armed for a close-up fight and heavily armored - particularly up in front.

So I'm kinda disappointed that they constantly portray Red Horns to be such whimps in the cartoons. It's reputation in the Battle Story series is much, much better. There it's almost unmatched.

The Zoids Red Horn weighs in at a hefty 94 tons - 2 tons heavier than a Shield Liger and surprisingly waaay lighter than a Blade Liger which weighs in at 124 tons. It has a maximum speed of 130 kph which is less than half of what a Shield Liger can do (250kph) and just a third of a Blade Liger's top speed (305 kph).

Both Ligers can easily run circles around the Red Horn which compensates with its heavy armor, rotating turrets and sensory equipment. The Zoid Red Horn's main weaponry include:
  • A Crasher Horn - that big red thing up front right in front of the pilot;
  • Smash-up tail - which makes it real awkward that there's someone sitting in it;
  • 80 mm Surface-to-Air Double Barreled Beam Cannon - the forward cannon jutting on top that rotates;
  • An Anti-Zoid 3-Barreled Linear Cannon - the rotating/elevating cannon sitting on the Red Horn's haunches; 
  • A SSM-Pod (Short Range Missile Pod) sits atop the Anti-Zoid 3-Barreled Linear Cannon;
  • Two TEZ 20 mm Linear Laser gun at the tail of the Red Horn;
  • Another TEZ 20 mm Linear Laser gun rides under the chin of the Red Horn. 
  • Two AEZ 20mm Beam cannons sitting on the rear legs of the Red Horn pointed backwards - but capable of swiveling to protect his sides. 
  • And finally, the Red Horn can breath out a high-pressured burst of Sulfuric Acid Powder from it's mouth - something that pilots probably try to do before ramming the Red Horn's Crasher Horn into an obstacle.
Supplementing this horde of weaponry that definitely puts the Ligers to shame is a plethora of sensory equipment that includes:

  • An All-Weather 3D Radar Antenna 
  • A Composite Sensor Unit, and;
  • An Infra-Red Laser Searcher
Because of the complexities - and probably because the pilot sits right behind an object used to ram things - Red Horns are crewed by 3 people: A pilot; a commander sitting atop the Red Horn probably handling the sensors and turret weapons, and;...... well the village idiot who sits in the tail. 

It really boggles me why someone has to sit in the tail - all exposed like that with no cover. Given the advanced sensory equipment of the Red Horn, I sincerely doubt that it has a blind spot that is in need of human eyes or should be incapable of firing it's tail Lasers accurately without human intervention.

Further, even assuming that a Red Horn never uses its tail for combat, can you imagine the dust trail that a Red Horn must leave in it's wake while travelling at full speed? You have to definitely be at the bottom of the totem pole to sit in that chair.

Further, I also prefer to have the Red Horn without it's anti-aircraft weaponry. The 80mm Surface-To-Air Double Barreled Beam cannon sadly cannot elevate like the rear mounted tri-barrel cannon can. I also think that it looks really weird rotating in place automatically when you activate the Red Horn's walking action. Removing it gives the tri-barrel cannon a full free hemisphere to fire.

This particular Red Horn Zoid is actually the 1999 New Japanese Release - which explains the deep red color and the green-clear lens used for the Red Horn's eye slits and commander's pod. It is powered by a single AA battery and does walk with a slow trudging action - not fast enough to damage anything with it's horn - though the Red Horn's head has a small "lifting hook action" so it can feasibly tear off other Zoid parts given time and persistence.

The Zoid 1999 New Japanese Release Red Horn is available on Amazon for... get this a whopping US$ 199.99 (PhP 8,400 plus shipping). I kinda doubt that I paid that much for it so long ago. I guess there really is something to be said about magical self-moving model kits from a lifetime ago.

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