RZ-046 or Shadow Fox was created by the Republic during the Dark Zoid period. Developed as stealth Zoid, Shadow Fox was deployed alongside Liger Zero during the invasion of Nyx. The Shadow Fox design is unique, with more focus on camouflage and agility than offensive weapons systems. Although the Fox is equipped with electron bite fangs, and strike laser claws the majority of systems promote it's clandestine nature. Along with a total of six smoke dischargers, a stealth system, optical camouflage, radar, and multi ear sensors. Truly build to be as "sly as a fox", Shadow Fox has the ability to render itself totally invisible by the use of it's optical camouflage system. Shadow Fox is covered by radar absorbing armor and makes use of numerous sensor baffles to further enhance it's covertness.
Shadow Fox features a 30mm Vulcan Cannon mounted on a flexible weapons rack. The Vulcan cannon can be removed with ease and the weapons rack allows the unit to mount a vast array of other weapons including but not limited to the Genobreakers cannons and the Lightening Saix's boosters, both pictured below.. The most interesting weapon of the Shadow Fox lies within it's tail. The tail of the unit houses a "electro net cannon" designed to launch an electro net. The electro net has the ability to "short circuit" other Zoids by creating an electro static array over the frame of the targeted Zoid. Shadow Fox made an appearance in New Century Zero where it became pilot Brad Hunter's main Zoid after the destruction of his Command Wolf AC. Next, we see Shadow Fox in Fuzors where it was used by the Mach Storm Team. Finally Shadow Fox appeared in Genesis where it is unclear if there were actually two versions or just a mistake made by the animators.
Shadow Fox is one of the more rare model kits, with prime examples often fetching over $50.00. Shadow Fox was initially released as part of the NJR line in 2000. It was later released as a Toys R Us limited in the Hasbro line which accounts for the rarity of the unit. The next release was as a limited in the Yuji Kaida line where it was re-released as "Fire Fox", an Empire version said to have been created from the stolen Republic plans to make an updated version. The last release was the NER release where nothing was altered save for the box art that featured the mechanical circle on the front.
Building Shadow Fox is an interesting experience, and I liken the build to many of the Grade Up series. Fire Fox actually makes use of two gear pieces used in the Grade Up series that enable the back mounted cannon to rotate via turning the knobs on either side of the gun. The kit prominently displays four anchors, one for each foot that I think further adds to the "realness" as far as being able to compensate from the potential massive re-coil of larger cannons that it is able to mount. Operating off of a larger wind up motor with the key stored in the tail (which was reported as being modified to be more round in the Hasbro later molds), Shadow Fox also is able to have its head positioned in two different modes, but the real beauty of the unit lies within the weapons rack. In very Anime accurate style the weapons rack features a variety of pegs making mounting several different weapons systems actually possible. Removal of the back plate results in exposing a port not unlike grade up ports along with the several different sized pegs able to accommodate the majority of weapons. The anchors Although an elusive kit to find here in the States, Shadow Fox is worth the effort in doing so. Check into European markets for greater availability and lower cost.
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