Han Solo in Carbonite Movie Room door


Well-Known Member
Project formerly called "building a better home cinema door"... I didn't have the space to do a fully 1:1 HIC with the panels and all, it would have been very chunky in the HC room we have (+ low ceiling). A HIC coffee table was considered but a no-go upstairs (partner said that SW shouldn't invade and stay concealed downstairs). Such a table wouldn't fit neither with L shaped couch in the HC room (and I went for a square one to store the falcon as a light up + sound fx display : Millennium Falcon display coffee table)

so... I decided to go for a door !
The initial project was supposed to have a revealed HIC using a special film. It would be hidden behind, revealed by pressing a switch and starting the unfreezing process, with sound and lights.
That was not possible because the door isn't thick enough and an additional frame of wood + the glass (mineral glass, not plexiglass to be rigid enough) to support the film would have NEVER fit the door frame and hinges....

Here's the preliminary test I did with the film, I was thrilled. I'll use it for other projects

Here's the breakdown of the build.
[that's a project that started right after the HC room version 2 was finished, back in 2016 IIRC, and stalled many times due to life and Plecter Labs business, but also because I had a hard time deciding how to finish the final framing of the door while ensuring I could still access the electronics]

There was no room in the HC room to have a full display HIC with the big thick base and volvo panels. That's too bad but that's how it is, I (we) wanted to have the room usable (for real) as a guest room and use the bed there (couch has a 150cm wide butterfly folding spare bed) so I'm trying to keep the prop collection thing under control :ninja:

I got a rubber cast of HIC from Chris as I remembered he had maybe still a spare one from his coffee table project. Oh, the coffee table was the intended project for HIC initially, problem is with the L shape of the couch, it would have been way too long even with chopped feet. Beside, we already have a coffee table there, it's small and appropriate for the HC room (we don't drink coffee there) and has storage for the remotes and all.

It's also way too massive, thick and heavy to have a full base sticking out of the door, so I decided to cut the door panel and include the HIC in the thickness of the door. The cast is really nice, it's PU rubber I think, very detailed, and no work to do on it aside 2-3 trimming cut, mainly to remove the cast flash and a few thick pieces on the edges

prep work on the door, ensuring I will be able to still use the handle (one side will be turned into a knob, lever will be too long)




Then cut the door with the awesome festool spinning saw and guiding rail. Not pictured, but I had to remove the mess of honeycomb paper structure inside and sand everything down, went ok, just some intense work

Before attaching the cast, back filling with PU foam

Measuring and adjusting the feet to make Ford 1,85m. At the end, he will be only 1,84m so a couple of MIB collectors will die because of me and adam savage will appear behind me to cut my throat.

The stormrider casts are mentioned on the forums as not "convenient" when proposed in the version I have (you don't have all the carbonite details) because of the edges that you have to make even with the carbonite plane. Some failed because they didn't plan this when building their recessed area for Han as the edges are thicker than expected. Not a problem here, I just used some framing cardboard to spouse the cast, and wood glue will fill the gaps


The rubber parts and cardboard received some acrylic sealer so that it catches the automotive bi-component primer properly.

Some heavy weights to flatten it out while the glue is drying. Left over ceramic tiles is always handy.
Han say "sorry about the mess" ;D

First pass of gap filling and carbonite details / texture


second pass with more texturing. Now I'm leaving this 1 week to dry so that the glue cures underneath, before I apply more. In the meanwhile I'll start working on the electronics, and there's a lot to do.



Well-Known Member
the initial goal for this project was to use a special film that hides it by blurring the surface. When applying electricity it becomes clear again (about 70% light transmittance) and I wanted to have a sort of interface (fingerprint, keypad + PIN code etc) to triggers this + light + smoke to reveal it.

Still waiting for some datasheet from the fingerprint manufacturer ( they asked me # serial and many things like the distributor by which I purchased it, like it's top secret tech :rant:) I got the HIC primed with polyester 2 part primer (and a few filler primer cans I had left)



as some of the seams between the body and the frame were still visible. I finished them with a transparent caulking but it had to be covered again with wood glue for proper aspect, and I wanted to do this after seeing the result of the priming.


then added more carbonite texture

now it's drying again. As I'm working on several things including flashing boards and hurrying for putting them for sale before I get some riots in the village, this might wait again a little bit but it's been a good progress, I was worried about the 2 part primer as usual as I'm not good at the spray gun, my old compressor sucks (I really have to invest in something better AND fix the water filter) and the primer is hard to mix, there are always some chunks that obstruct the gun (got many of them). I confess that this primer is old, and it all settled in the bottom of the can (n) I added a bunch of big bolts and nuts in there to help mixing by shaking the can but still... I wish I had a proper place for those things


Well-Known Member
Some stuff got done in 2019, mostly silver paint, and the door was installed in the HC room again so that we could have a dark situation when watching a movie (and shop to remain lit eventually).

I don't have a picture of the door installed right now, since it's been removed for new work on the back of the door, as detailed after this, but here's the HIC with silver paint



and here it is today, while I'm working on it. That's 2020, in 2 years, the flexible polyurethane moved a bit, when I moved the door back and forth, despite of the acrylic primer and 2 part filler primer. Before working on the new stuff, I gave it a good shot of satin clear (2 part) to harden everything and filled cracks with super glue. It needs more clear, then another coat of silver to clean the mess, then 2 passes of clear again, so that it's smooth but not shiny. The silver paint I have is awesome (silver dollar from Molotow Belton colors) but it creates a dusty surface with particles, paint is easy to remove / scratch, so the clear coat (2 part satin PU clear) will seal it and will harden the top surface


For this side, I'm just figuring out how to place the ledstrips and have them edge light up with red and white to produce the un freezing sequence. Since I can't do a "real" HIC (door isn't thick enough nor large enough) I'll have a front health indicator with a small OLED display, chrome bezels with blinking LEDS, and a fingerprint scanner to trigger the sequence. That's coming "soon", once I have secured Han and repaired paint, and once the backside is fully finished

I decided to go for a mando door, something reminiscent from the show. It was covid time, and while I spent like a grand on more tools, paint, various supplies for a lot of different projects (including car repairs and home renovation), I selected parts that I had already, like paint. I had a huge leftover of Basque Red (RAL 3004) in satin, that's our fence color and shutters color. I used the paint when I tried to save our wood shutters, that lasted a couple of years then I replaced them with aluminum ones like 2 years ago. The paint is awesome but my spray gun was sub par, so I got a better one for 70€, with a much better result and it was the perfect project to train on that technique, plus the door doesn't have to be pretty, that's a dirty planet :) (it will be weathered).

I mocked up the design of the door in illustator, scaled it up, then printed the template on multiple pages to cut the wood since it's obviously too large for the laser cutter.



Central section says "this is the way" :-D

Then I painted everything in red and grey, plus some parts in beige for a tri color theme. The 2 large pieces of MDF on the edges I covered the seam with a series of triangle, a little bit cumbersome but I'll get used to it, with some weathering and blaster shots



the mando logo came out really neat, vinyl cut on the cameo, then I use the mini paint gun, 0.6mm needle, 3 passes, it looks like a sticker, but it's paint. Really pleased. Now I have to protect all that with foam and paper and place it on a foam mat to work on the HIC side. I also borrowed the structured light laser scanner at work to see if I can make an accurate scan of my HIC, so I have some backups or if I need to make more those.


Well-Known Member
[Nov 17th 2021] I'm having a high phase again, which seems to last, for pretty obvious reasons, and I'm so enjoying those. Early wake up routine, stuff got done, and even if my WE got busy with house things...
I really wanted the HIC / mando do to be finished, but I was concerned with the outer frame and not being able to remove it if I made a perfect seam between it and the carbonite. I decided to give it a try and mold the edge with blue painters tape and WD40 as release agent, and I started pouring glue again.
After the glue settled and cured a bit, I perfected the seam with hot glue, which saved me a LOT of curing / drying time and I was soon back in business for painting and starting, finally, installing the electronics that got started earlier.




hot glue touch up. And I added wood dowels as studs in which I can screw the top panel in, the door material is too flimsy and too thin.

There will be smoke generated by a vape inhaler / atomizer, for the freezing / unfreezing sequence, which is triggered by a finger print scanner. An OLED display gives animated health stats, and the ledstrip provides animation for unfreezing, pulsing etc.



Well-Known Member
repainted it all, and the door frame itself, to the limit of the back side (mando, red)


added some wood studs to allows screwing the frame in the door, and it's paper thin wood (ok 3mm) in most places... (picture before painting)


then reversed the frame (made of multiple pieces of MDF, laser cut and assembled together with CA glue, primed with 2 part primer + spray gun and sanded... 3 times) and started to work on the electronics install. A CFX will handle everything using my personal libs and the ability to play sound (with onboard amp) and control the OLED displaying bitmaps and such, and of course talking to the infamous fingerprint scanner I got so many years ago. I selected it because it has a capacitive FP sensor, the real deal, gold coated and all and the board can actually download the image of the fingerprint, that gets displayed on the OLED in a progressive scan type of fashion, like "PROCESSING, WAIT....". To keep the sci-fi spirit.


it's been real fun to "sculpt carbonite" again with the wood glue and all, and the seam, though thicker than the rest, looks legit as a border / framing of the whole panel. I can't wait to finalize the install, hopefully within a couple of days


Well-Known Member
No beauty pictures yet, I'm, let's say, 90% done with the project. Missing a final cover plate for the display switches (hosting also a HDD part to cover the USB port, that allows me to reflash the board - a CFX - and access the SD card via mass storage). For now just a basic animation, I'm still writing the state machines and the time lines of the whole thing. The finger print scanner stopped working, board is ok and responding, but the expensive capacitive sensor... just died, and got replaced with a SW look / style rectangular lit button.... that of course didn't have a built in led, so I printed an bulb adapter for a 5mm LED

Smoke test controlled by the CFX board using the onboard MOS fet L1- to L4- (by pairs)

Tracing the location of the elements for laser cutting a top cover plate, with feelings from Indy and the last crusade :)

POC with cardboard

and after 2 minor adjustments

Frame screwed in and power cable duct in place


Well-Known Member
Installed. It's not closing fully, I need to adjust the hinges if I can (hammering required because they are welded to the frame). The whole thing is super heavy with the added wood on the mando side, probably 35 or 40 kg
More coding required, for now I just wrote a simple light + sound scenario to test it, benchmark the power supply (10A) and check that the smoke generator is still working. It's rather a smoke FART generator but I didn't want
to smoke the whole movie room, the glycerin is greasy.


Basic test + video demo

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.