Not Your Char’s Nightingale

Howdy folks!

Today we’re gonna be discussing one of my other larger projects (not you, Mr. Unicorn). It’s a fantastic blend of worldbuilding and Gundam.

(What’s worldbuilding? It’s creating a fictional world from scratch! It’s a secondary passion of mine)

I was lucky enough to receive an HG Nightingale (Char piloted this) from my mother on Christmas day. What a box! This HG honestly runs the same size as an MG but with fewer parts. It’s about 40cm wide and 20ish cm tall when complete.

Ah yes, the famed bathroom kit selfie

The Build Process

The build process itself didn’t take long, only a few days on and off. I was not expecting the size. It’s big! There weren’t any major issues with this build. No fitting problems or loose parts. It’s not very detailed, parts-wise. It was simple and fun!

The Concept Conception

I spent a good while staring at this kit to figure out what I would do with it. I was originally planning on doing a rainbow theme similar to this:

It just didn’t feel right. It didn’t fit. So it sat on my desk for about a month until I had a lightbulb pop off in my head. I was looking through old dust-covered sketchbooks from high school that held some of my older worldbuilding concepts when I had the idea. What if I blend the two? I took the two and mashed them.

Then I started drafting a store. This suit gives massive crustacean vibes. What if I made it an aquatic explorer suit? What if it was exploring an ocean on a newly discovered planet?

Thus came planet X463. A planet filled with vast oceans teeming with life. The story goes that out of thirty-five mechs sent out to explore, only one came back.

A bit silly but extremely fun to me.

I ended up sketching my creatures freehand on some paper before transferring them onto the kit. Some are based on real-life sea creatures and some are just straight up from my imagination. 

The painting process

I really wanted to do something cooler than a straight-up blue base coat. I decided to take several blues and try gradients.

The first parts I started to both spraypaint and handprint were the shoulders. These really set the story tone for the build. I did a base blue then did a darker blue fade. I topped each off with a highlight of a lighter blue. Each shoulder took about 5 hours (layer drying time included) to fully handprint.

I started by sketching out the creatures with a white colored pencil (granted in the future I think I would use a watercolor pencil so that I could wipe it off after). Then I started with base coating while moving to shadows and finer details. The critters and plants were then outlined in a thin black line.

The right is a warm saltwater ocean (don’t @ me with the science I tried) and the left is what I considered to be the “deep sea”.

Then came the big rump of the build.

I painted sea ray creatures on it. The funnels are a bright yellow (as a contrast color) and the thrusters are a base black. I chose a flat olive drab for the inner frame. It felt the best choice to compliment the blues. 

I didn’t do a lot of details on the hip, crotch, torso and head. There’s a hint of gradient on it. I went with using yellow on the tanks and smaller details to provide some color separation. I did, however, attempt waterslide decals. I learned that I did not get it glossy enough so you can see some silvering on the edges. That’s okay though. It’s a learning curve.

I then moved on to the side hip skirts. One represents a cross between a sea dragon and seahorse and the left is a funky little fish guarding a nest.

The front skirts are one of my favorite painted parts of the build. I love crustaceans and knew that I had to devote myself to them. I also consider them the best paint jobs on the build. I did also try to do decals, with minor success. 

The arms are pretty plain minus gradients, granted I do love them.

What’s next? Legs? Legs.

These were fun snippets to paint! I had a lot of fun with the fish designs on them.

Then everything was top coated using a gloss varnish. I brushed on the topcoat to get a water current effect on the painted parts and airbrushed the rest.

Assemble it!

I was very careful when assembling this because I was nervous about scratches and bumps.


Getting pictures of this gal was tricky to do due to the fact I have a photobooth and that can be limiting with the sizes. So I pulled out a white sheet and several laps. It took me a while to get the lighting right. I recommend this video. Chris is very knowledgeable on the topic and is great at explaining what to do. He has one for a photobooth and without one. 

So, overall this was a fantastic build!

I want to do another one but coconut crab theme. That would be fun!

If you have a comment or want to subscribe to the blog check it out below! Thanks for the read!

Have a great Tuesday!


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