Han Solo in Carbonite: A novice build

Discussion in 'Star Wars Costumes and Props' started by QCWolf, Mar 20, 2015.

  1. QCWolf

    QCWolf Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    How do you eat an elephant?

    One bite at a time.

    After spending the better part of a year gathering parts and materials, I finally began building my Holy Grail of props.
    Here are the resources that I have used:

    Body Kit: King Jawa
    Box Kit: Zenix
    Greeblie kit: Zenix
    Hero Panel Light Kit: Modeljag
    Panel #2 Light Kit: Warpcell
    Volvo panels and end pockets: Moncal

    I began with the body kit from King Jawa. I found it to be a great kit that is easy to work with and has really good detail. I liked the amount of flashing around the sides because it allowed me to glue and screw it to the board easily.

    IMG_1543_zps177b1a96.jpg
     
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  2. QCWolf

    QCWolf Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I had delusions that I would make my own box from MDF but arrived at the harsh reality that my woodworking skills are still stuck in my 1987 wood shop class. Therefore, I decided to get the box kit from Zenix. It arrived quickly and was a breeze to assemble.
    Photo Feb 07, 4 23 19 PM.jpg

    Photo Feb 07, 4 25 02 PM.jpg

    Once I got the frame together, I added some more cross supports to prevent bowing and I added an interior lip with the thought that I would cut a panel board to fit the space precisely and rest on the lip. I did this to make the depth of my glue pour only a quarter inch instead of the half inch of MDF thickness. I wanted the texture of the Carbonite to be flush with the edge. I also used a router and a rabbeting bit to make space for the Moncal end pockets to be counter sunk.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 9, 2017
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  3. Jedifyfe

    Jedifyfe Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Cant wait for more progress!!
     
  4. QCWolf

    QCWolf Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    This was my first time using Bondo so I didn't know what to expect. I knew I had to work fast before it hardened, but I didn't know how fast. I was also unprepared for the amount of sanding needed to achieve decent results. Also, I went a little crazy with the screws. I used way too many and ended up removing some so I could use a round over bit for the edges. However, anything worth doing is worth overdoing so all the extra support and screws I added has made my block extremely sturdy. Heavy, but sturdy.

    Photo Feb 09, 11 27 11 PM.jpg Photo Feb 09, 11 27 36 PM.jpg Photo Feb 14, 3 32 59 PM.jpg Photo Feb 14, 5 40 14 PM.jpg Photo Feb 15, 7 58 38 PM.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2017
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  5. mugatu

    mugatu Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    This is looking great!
    I also have never used Bondo before, so any extra tips for the green would be great.
     
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  6. NeoRutty

    NeoRutty Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    This will be interesting... I've got all the same HIC parts in my cart.

    Though haven't seen the Moncal end bits... is that a junkyard thing?
     
  7. Jedifyfe

    Jedifyfe Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Looking great! The best thing about the HIC is that the frame is suppose to be a little wonky, so it doesn't have to be extremely smooth. I got mine really smooth and I wish I had made it dented and scraped up. I might do that some other time.
     
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  8. QCWolf

    QCWolf Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I got the gallon can at Home Depot. I wasn't sure how much I'd need so I went big. Wear a mask of some kind for sure when sanding. I was amazed at the amount of dust that was produced. It got everywhere. I would HIGHLY recommend a power sander of some kind. My arm would have fallen off if I did it all manually.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I got the Moncal parts by contacting him directly. They are super busy with other projects and it took a really long time to fill my order (nearly 10 months) but they are really nice.
     
  9. Jedifyfe

    Jedifyfe Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Bondo is super easy to work with. It is a trial and error type of product. The more hardener you mix in, the quicker it sets. If you want a longer work time, just put a small amount of hardener in. Also, I was turned on to a better product called Evercoat. It's a superior type of product than bondo.
     
  10. QCWolf

    QCWolf Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I contacted him directly. It took nearly 10 months to fill my order but they were great to work with and had great communication throughout the process.

    - - - Updated - - -

    If it's supposed to be wonky, then mine is a success. Ha!
     
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  11. mugatu

    mugatu Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Jedifyfe, thank you. In what way is Evercote better? Like easier to sand or easier to apply, or does the end texture look better. I know your carbonite flow area texture ended up looking outstanding from all the HIC's I've seen. Was that Evercote?
     
  12. QCWolf

    QCWolf Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I used some expanding foam to support the end pockets from the inside and added some 1/4 in plywood to the control panel holes. I elected not to add the angled element to the side panels. For my skill level, it seemed like a lot of effort for little payoff.
    Photo Feb 14, 4 24 20 PM.jpg Photo Feb 18, 3 30 09 PM.jpg Photo Feb 18, 3 30 25 PM.jpg Photo Feb 18, 3 30 45 PM.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2017
  13. Jedifyfe

    Jedifyfe Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thank you! Matt Munson told me about Evercoat. It bonds better and sands really well. I believe that it is what most pro prop makers use now a day. It's a bit more expensive and slightly harder to find (bought mine off amazon). It's more durable to scuffs and chipping. Bondo is fairly weak and can be dented easily. Bondo is much easier to find, cheap and great for the first timer. I will still use bondo on various projects but Evercoat is for the bigger projects.

    - - - Updated - - -

    This is like Christmas. I love when people have tons of progress shots all at once!!!
     
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  14. QCWolf

    QCWolf Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Using my sophisticated support system, I moved the block outside to prime it.
    Photo Feb 18, 4 27 32 PM.jpg Photo Feb 18, 4 49 54 PM.jpg

    I started to get excited seeing the block all one color. I could begin to imagine what it was going to look like.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2017
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  15. QCWolf

    QCWolf Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Once the priming was done, I dragged the block back inside and screwed the body to the board. I used CA glue to bond the pieces together and filled the seams with Bondo. I also found it extremely helpful to use a heat gun to soften the edges of the cast so I could screw it and glue it with relative ease.
    Photo Feb 28, 6 23 34 PM.jpg
    I read in one post that a good way to seal the edges was to use silicone caulk. So, I did that and it worked pretty well. The only thing I didn't like was that after it dried, it was very flexible. This turned out not to be an issue because I covered it all up with glue.
    Photo Mar 01, 2 33 48 PM.jpg Photo Mar 01, 2 33 57 PM.jpg Photo Mar 01, 2 34 08 PM.jpg Photo Mar 01, 2 34 19 PM.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
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  16. QCWolf

    QCWolf Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I decided to go the wood glue route and got a gallon from Home Depot. I knew that multiple thin coats was a smarter way to apply the glue, but living in the Phoenix area, I thought the warm, dry climate would help dry things out faster. The day before I poured the glue, the temp was in the upper 80s with very low humidity. The day I made the pour, it began to rain and dropped into the 40s. Dang! The following picture is the entire gallon of wood glue poured onto the block. It took a full two weeks to cure.

    Photo Mar 02, 6 08 06 PM.jpg Photo Mar 02, 6 08 57 PM.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
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  17. Starwoid

    Starwoid Well-Known Member

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    This thing is looking absolutely beautiful!
     
  18. QCWolf

    QCWolf Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thank you! I'm having such a good time building it.
     
  19. Fumanchewie

    Fumanchewie New Member

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    Watching closely. Great build!
     
  20. Jedifyfe

    Jedifyfe Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The casting of Han is really great
     
  21. QCWolf

    QCWolf Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Kingjawa did a great job on the cast. My favorite part is the teeth. It's a subtle detail but adds such realism.
     
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  22. vintageslant

    vintageslant Active Member

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    Hi there great job and the first time I have soon a bare bones construction of this work. I do have one question. I'm sorry if it's been answered before. How come Han who is in binders end up with his hands free and in front of his face?
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2015
  23. Batiatus

    Batiatus New Member

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    Since I'm very new to the forum having just discovered you could actually do this (and hearing Adam Savage rave about RPF on Tested) I'm just curious if there's a great set of instructions or older thread with them? This wood glue pouring has me intrigued but also with a ton of questions that I'd appreciate a point in a good direction.

    Overall this project looks fantastic and I have enough of the required skills to pull it off (I hope).
     
  24. Jedifyfe

    Jedifyfe Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Welcome. There are a few threads about the builds that people have done. When I made my HIC, I scoured all of them and planned it out in my head before doing anything. It's best if you use the search function. Search for HIC and Han in Carbonite.
     
  25. QCWolf

    QCWolf Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I agree with Jedifyfe. I did research until my eyes began to bleed. I devoured any piece of information I could and had a plan in my head going in. I wasn't kidding when I said that my woodworking skills are at an 8th grade level. I know enough to be dangerous. If I can do this, anyone can. I've found that everyone's build is a little bit different and I have taken several ideas from several different sources and combined them into my project. I owe the RPF and the Dented Helmet a debt of gratitude for making all of this information available. There has been a great deal of trial and error on my part even after seeing what has been done by others.
     
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  26. QCWolf

    QCWolf Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think his arms are bound at the biceps behind his back. It looks pretty clear in this shot. My question is: Where are the binders when he gets unfrozen in ROTJ?
    HanBinders_zpscz0tzbzr.JPG
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
  27. NeoRutty

    NeoRutty Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I haven't watched in a bit, but isn't there a shot right before they lower him, maybe even the "I Know" part, where you see the ugnaughts unlock them?

    ----------------------

    Rewatched...

    yeah they undo his hands, and the blinders on his shoulders, going to his back, wouldn't be seen in carbonite.

    The question is whether they are on him when he's thawed out.... (I haven't looked)


    ----------------------------

    I've looked.

    Yup, No binders. Bad continuity!
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2015
  28. QCWolf

    QCWolf Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Maybe they dissolved during the freezing process? Ha!
     
  29. vintageslant

    vintageslant Active Member

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  30. NeoRutty

    NeoRutty Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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  31. vintageslant

    vintageslant Active Member

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    LOL @ pain face
     
  32. QCWolf

    QCWolf Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I read somewhere that the took a cast of ONLY Ford's face and that the body cast is the actor who played Bossk.
    FaceCast.JPG
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
  33. SofaKing01

    SofaKing01 Master Member

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  34. division 6

    division 6 Master Member

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    It's only a movie.:rolleyes


    Nice work so far.
    I have the Han parts and Volvo dash piece I need to mold.
    Still need to get the other parts and get going on this.
     
  35. QCWolf

    QCWolf Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Once the base layer hardened, I noticed that it had shrunk more than I thought it would. The glue was no longer flush with the edge of the front panel lip. So I began adding more layers of glue. I switched to Elmer's white glue as an experiment and found that it dries way faster than Titebond. However, I was pouring the Elmer's in smaller quantities also. I poured a few areas and let that dry. Then I'd pour over the top of that to create a multi-layered effect.



    Photo Mar 11, 6 58 43 PM.jpg Photo Mar 11, 6 59 17 PM.jpg Photo Mar 11, 6 59 45 PM.jpg Photo Mar 11, 7 01 05 PM.jpg

    Here I did a test shot of primer to see what it looked like in a uniform color.

    Photo Mar 11, 7 00 33 PM.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
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  36. Jesuit24

    Jesuit24 Active Member

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    Building a Fett costume, I'm inevitably going to want a Carbonite Han to go with him and this build is going to be invaluable.
     
  37. Jedifyfe

    Jedifyfe Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Can I suggest not pooling the glue but smearing it with your hand to make the edges rougher.
     
  38. QCWolf

    QCWolf Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    It's funny you mention that. I ended up not liking the final look of the poured glue. I didn't really know what I was doing and it ended up looking weird to me. It was way too organic and I decided to cover up most of it with bondo, letting only the glue spots I liked show through. That allowed me to get a texture that I liked and also make the whole thing flush with the edges.

    Photo Mar 15, 7 29 10 PM.jpg Photo Mar 15, 7 28 42 PM.jpg Photo Mar 15, 7 29 35 PM.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
  39. QCWolf

    QCWolf Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Here is the box being painted and a shot without the plastic. I used 3 coats of Rustoleum "Dark Steel" and topped it with one coat of stainless steel.

    20150319_010003000_iOS.jpg 20150319_010019000_iOS.jpg 20150321_000704000_iOS.jpg 20150321_000733000_iOS.jpg 20150321_000756000_iOS.jpg 20150321_000809000_iOS.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2017
  40. Jedifyfe

    Jedifyfe Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    MUCH better!!!
     
  41. QCWolf

    QCWolf Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thanks! I thought so too. I had high hopes for the glue, but after 3 weeks of messing around with it, I just wasn't getting the results I wanted. It made me a bit frustrated to cover up all that work, but I'm so glad that I did. I thought about not posting pics of the glue process because I ended up going a different direction, however I want people to see the mistakes I made so that it might help a future HIC builder
     
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  42. QCWolf

    QCWolf Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Here is the box as it sits at the moment. It's masked off and ready for front panel paint. I'll post more pictures as soon as I get some more painting done.

    20150322_020516000_iOS.jpg 20150322_020547000_iOS.jpg 20150322_020555000_iOS.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2017
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  43. QCWolf

    QCWolf Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I feel like it's Christmas this week. I received my HIC Panel #2 kit from Warpcell as well as my Hero Panel kit from Modeljag within the same week. The kits are beyond my expectations and the quality of both kits is fantastic. Thanks to both Modeljag and Warpcell for providing this build service for these amazing kits.
     
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  44. modeljag

    modeljag Active Member

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    Thanks for the kind words, glad you like the kit. Great work so far, you are going much faster than I did!
     
  45. Jedifyfe

    Jedifyfe Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I will be needing your Hero Kit soon...
     
  46. hdtheater

    hdtheater Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    You are making this look so easy, that I might make it my next project! Looking good!

    -Eric
     
  47. modeljag

    modeljag Active Member

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    Just send me a pm when you are ready to purchase. I have 1 or 2 left right now from the last batch, but may be making another round in the near future.
     
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  48. QCWolf

    QCWolf Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thanks for the kind words! I've been at it for about 6 weeks on and off and I'm having a blast building this thing.
     
  49. QCWolf

    QCWolf Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I sprayed the front panel with two coats of satin nickel and topped it off with a coat of brushed nickel. It's hard to tell in these photos due to the harsh lighting, but it looks very shiny.
    20150324_010244000_iOS.jpg 20150324_233030000_iOS.jpg 20150324_233050000_iOS.jpg 20150324_010234000_iOS.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2017
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  50. QCWolf

    QCWolf Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Just for fun, I decided to shoot a time lapse of the weathering process today. It took me an hour and a half from start to finish and I compressed the whole process into a 30 second clip. It took me a few coats to get the look I wanted. Thanks to Warpcell for the weathering tips!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
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