Han in Carbonite Panel Color Question

Art Andrews

Community Owner
Community Staff
So, we all know that the side panels on the Han in Carbonite prop as seen in the archives and at exhibits are a greyish silver, right? However, in ESB, they appear to be black or a very dark grey (perhaps the original color of the car cluster panel)? Is anyone out there doing theirs in black as opposed to silver? Any idea why there is a color change?
The HIC looks to be a very dark color as we first see Han pulled up from the freezing chamber and then inspected by Lando in ESB. This I believe is simply due to the lighting in the freezing chamber- it also looks a dark color on the wall of Jabba's palace and again the room is dark there.
After Han is frozen, Boba Fett and some Stormtroopers take him through the halls of Cloud City to Fett's ship and we can see clearly in these bright halls the HIC is a much lighter color- a grayish silver..
I think you might be confusing what I am talking about... I am only referring to the control panels on the side of the carbonite block. On the prop at the exhibit the panels are a silvery grey but in ESB they appear much darker, both in the Carbon Chamber and in the Bespin Hallway.

View attachment 56183

View attachment 56184
They look almost black to me which makes me think they may have not painted them at all. I am planning to paint mine black or very dark gray. I like the color contrast.
I am with ya. I really like the color contrast as well and don't like the grey on silver look that we see at the exhibits.
Well this is interesting and I hadn't noticed before.

In the carbonite freezing chamber and the Bespin corridor long shot only, the non hero panels do appear very dark if not black. The hero panel however is silver.

But when it cuts to the close up in the Bespin corridor, the non hero panels are lighter than the carbonite block.


One thing I did notice however is that the detailing of the panels changes between the freezing chamber/long shot and the closeup. And is also different again in RoTJ.

In particular, in the Bespin closeup shot there is a 'hero' panel is on the reverse side to where it is in the carbon freezing chamber but it has a row of little ferrules instead of red/white lights and it has no knurled knobs on the mesh.

It's a pity there isn't any good enough reference material for us to copy the ESB detailing.
So for screen accuracy paint them any old color you find on the shelf. :)

Just kidding of course. I wish there was better reference as well. I would like to see some good shots of the top and bottom detail that seem to be there in the Bespin scenes.
It´s unbelivable,

you can watch SW frame by frame and you think you have seen all the details.
And than someone post something like this.

Thats realy interesting.

Thanks for the thread.
Well... I have totally bummed myself out. I went through and got a good screen cap of each shot of the Han in Carbonite from ESB... While it certainly isn't great ref, I feel pretty confident that virtually NONE of the panels (except the hero) that we see on the Exhibit piece are the same as the ESB prop. I can't believe it, but I can't match any of them 100%. There are a couple that are similar but it is hard to be sure.

The other depressing thing is that I have organized my Exhibit ref and it is heartbreaking to see that in the last couple of years, a prop that has survived for 30+ years has been trashed and tons of pieces have now been ripped off. :(

I really wanted to do the ESB look, but I simply don't think we have enough ref to do it accurately... but I hate the all silver look.
On a visit to ILM, I examined the HIC at length. At the time, 1994 or 1995, the Volvo bezels were the same color as the block. It was NOT the ROTJ SE Version OR the Planet Hollywood one either. It was the real deal.

I was told it was a GM color called Pewter.

The pics I have here I feel represent it best before all the vandalism. Although bits are missing as well.

HIC Update 10/05/08
Speaking of color, the Han portion is a silver color, while the box color looks to be a darker metallic/gunmetal gray. However, when I've seen this built I've noticed that many people paint the whole thing the same color.

What colors have people chosen for their HICs?

I'm going to go with gunmetal and silver, i bought the spray already , have the box part in, just need to get a sheet of something to put han on and attach to the box. going to be tough with out a good place to work though.
I bought a 4' x 8' piece of panelling for $10 to cut to size and lay Han on. I'm keeping it as light as possible.

To continue derailing, I was thinking that the color used for 4-LOM may be good for the box. I have a can still that I used to touch up Randy's 4-LOM that we displayed at CV.

Ugh! I haven't started my build yet, so that is a good thing. But as soon as I start, I need to decide which version of which version to go with!
Something interesting. On the Blurays there is a feature called 'Archive Flythrough' which is basically a quick tour of the archives. There is a carbonite block in clear daylight and the panels (other than the hero panel) are darker than the block.

Ugh! I haven't started my build yet, so that is a good thing. But as soon as I start, I need to decide which version of which version to go with!
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