New Han in Carbonite Build - With Glowing Thaw Function - COMPLETE

Sean Hebein

Sr Member
Hey everyone,

I just finished my latest Han in Carbonite build. I had to sell my last one to fund my bee business. Now that the business is more self-sustaining, I figured it was time to build a new one.

Here's the source of the parts I used:

As with all of my HIC builds, I always start with the panels because they are the worst. Todd Blatt offers injection molded panels that are perfect replicas of the Volvo dash panels that were used on the real deal. They're super nice because they are ready for paint right out of the box:


I paint the panels Galaxy Silver:


Todd offers aluminum backing that is cut perfectly to the shape of the back of the panel. I prefer the look of stainless steel so I ordered 304 stainless from Online Metals and they cut them to the correct sizes for me. I number all of the panels so I can easily identify where they go on the build when I am ready to install.


I used to use JB Weld to secure the stainless to the panel but I decided against that this time. The metal clips provide more than enough support . I predrill all of the clip holes on the panel and then mark the drill holes on the stainless with a sharpie and then use a drill press to drill the stainless plate. The end result is below for panels 3-8. The two hero panels require some different prep so those are handled separately.


Here's the greeblies that I got from Todd and then also the electronics kit from Fettronics:


I can usually build a set of panels in about 4 hours from the time I open the box of fresh panels to the end result. That being said, fast forward a few hours and here is the finished set:


At this point I started on the box. I got the box kit from Todd as linked above. The box kit goes together super fast and if you don't have a lot of wood working skill, it is a must have. One thing I always have issues with is getting the corners to stay level and true so I decided to attack it from a different angle this time. I measured a half inch in from the outside edge and laid down a wood frame. The box thickness is 1/2". Here's what that looked like:


After the frame was built, I measured and cut 1/2" plywood for the middle and laid it in:


Even though things we're lined up perfectly on the corners, I knew that everything was going to be perfectly flat which would help keep the build clean. I went ahead and put the outer box frame on the piece that I had built and it fit like a glove.


To secure the pieces together, I had my wife help me move everything from off of the floor and I wood glued everything together and clamped to make sure it didn't move. After the glue had set I laid in some scrap plywood that I cut to size with 2x4s drilled in for extra support:



After that, it was the screw hole and gap filling game. I also rounded the edges of the box with my router.



Almost there with this last get the picture.


Now that the box was basically finished, I decided to turn my attention to the Han casting. Wes did an amazing job with this! This was his first casting that he did like this so I felt an extra level of responsibility to make it awesome. Wes primered the casting before he sent it to make sure that he could correct any weird spots in the casting before he sent it off which I appreciate immensely! My first order of business was to remove all of the primer so I could start testing LEDs.


To be honest, I wasn't quite sure how I wanted to go about this so I thought about it for a few days. I even took a field trip to Home Depot to just look around and try and gather some inspiration. And it worked. I didn't realize they sold giant 8ft tall panels of acrylic. I bought a panel, took it home and then cut it to the same size as Han and then traced out where the hollow parts were that I wanted to light. From there, I initially glued down the LED strip but eventually decided to reinforce with zip ties. After I was happy with everything I used Gorilla construction adhesive to glue to to the plywood backing on the box.



I would also be remiss if I didn't include the lighting inside of the box. I lined the inside of the box with foil tape so the light would have something to reflect off of and then ran a string of LEDs around the inside edge.


At that point it was time to glue down Han. I used Gorilla construction adhesive to glue him down and then used weights to hold him in place until the glue set. Afterward I used a mix of silicone caulking and Bondo to blend the edges into the box. I primered everything that wasn't going to be lit with LEDs on the panel and then after I did another round of acetone to remove any remaining paint (I had done a few paint tests).



After I was satisfied with the blend, I went ahead and painted Han Galaxy Silver. When I painted the lit parts I made sure the LEDs were on so I could monitor how the paint was interacting with the light. After I was satisfied with that, I did several washes with black and bronze acrylic hobby paint to knock down the shine. Here is what that looked like:




Here is the final product:




Mounted to my wall with a heavy duty TV mount. It makes it super convenient to get behind it if I want to adjust anything.

Thanks for following along!



Sr Member
That is freakin' AWESOME!! I've never seen one with the thaw effect!! Such an excellent idea, and the finished piece is beautiful. Really jealous of this!!!

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