RMS-099 Rick Dias

The RMS-099 was secretly developed by Anaheim Electronics for the Anti-Earth Union Group, and was a mainstay of their mobile suit forces throughout the Gryps War of UC0087. The first suit to employ lightweight Gundarium Gamma alloy for it's armor, the Rick Dias was able to fly farther and carry more equipment than older suits, while still retaining a high level of maneuverability. It also featured random binders, external fuel tanks/thrusters mounted on it's back, which could be ejected after use (or even thrown at the enemy if the pilot was getting desperate). Standard weapons included a beam saber, two beam pistols, a double-barreled vulcan phalanx anti-missile gun (located in the head) and a clay bazooka. It was favored by former Zeon pilots in the AEUG, including Quattro Bageena (a.k.a. Char Aznable), who actually gave the suit it's name. After Quattro's red Rick Dias is stolen and subsequently destroyed, Quattro moves on to the MSN-00100 Hyaku Shiki and the Rick Dias forces change the standard Rick Dias color to red. Eventually, some of the technology pioneered on the Rick Dias is used in the creation of the Zeta Gundam.

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The Rick Dias was a rather exciting Master Grade release, because it marks the first Zeta Gundam grunt mobile suit to get Master Grade treatment. It's bulky, straightforward design was a welcome change from Strike's scrawny appearance (what is it with the more modern Gundams featuring tiny waistlines? it's a mobile suit, not a cheerleader for cryin' out loud). It was an easy, enjoyable build and looked pretty good even before the detailing was done. It features the best hands of any Master Grade I've built. Rather than the typical, three-fingered piece, pointer finger and thumb; the Rick Dias has separate fingers, each with one joint (except for it's thumbs which are one piece as you'd normally expect). They look great and are extremely posable. Because of this, the Rick Dias has the largest hands I've ever seen on a Master Grade kit, but they don't really stand out thanks to it's size (it's head comes up to Nu Gundam's neck and (if you discount the shoulders, it's as wide as a Gelgoog). Also, the weapon handles (excluding the beam saber hilt) have two bumps on them, which fit into notches in the Rick Dias' palms. They aren't horribly secure, but they do their job pretty well. As far as panel lines go, there's not all that many, mostly you just have to deal with conduits, of which there are plenty. I took care of them right as I took them off the tree with a fine tipped sharpie. Really, this is a great kit for a beginner, thanks to it's straightforward build, dark color scheme (hides mistakes and doesn't need panel lines drawn to look good). It's now one of my favorite kits.