This is a step-by-step instruction on how to create your very own Han Solo encased in carbonite. I decided to make mine into a queso dish for an upcoming Halloween party, but the process is the same for just about anything you could come up with.
This instructable does come with a warning. I was figuring out how to do this as I went along so the pictures might not mesh 100% with the descriptions. The descriptions will, of course, be correct.
Step 1: Materials
I went through several methods before deciding on a final one. My initial plan was to heat shrink my army man into his cryogenic prison. Sadly, this did not work as well as planned. In the picture below you'll see a plastic tablecloth. That was to be my shrink-wrap. No worries, I made a small mess and the tablecloth made for an easy cleanup.
For this you will need:
• One large size action figure. The one used in this instructable was about 1 foot tall.
• Two foot wide styrofoam boards
• One sheet of hardboard. It's cheap and you can find it at any lumber store. This sheet is 2'x 4'. It cost $3.
• One can of black Plasti-Dip. You can also get this at the hardware store.
• (optional) One Plastic tablecloth
Step 2: Tools
Most of the tools for this project can be found around your house. Freezing someone in carbonite is not an exact science. Use whatever you think will work. A Dremel tool will probably replace several of the items below.
For this you will need:
Saw (I used a meat saw!)
(Not Pictured) Scroll-Saw
Step 3: Basic Assembly
I cut each of my long styrofoam boards into two 12"x16" sections. Do the same to your 3 pieces of hardwood. Make sure they are all the same size. Once we have 4 squares of styrofoam and 3 of the hardboard we will combine (almost all of) them with spray adheasive (or whatever glue you have handy, Elmers is fine). DO NOT GLUE THE TOP PIECE OF HARDBOARD TO ANYTHING, SET IT ASIDE. Stack them like so:
::::::: <-styrofoam::::::: <-styrofoam/////// <---hardboard::::::: <-styrofoam::::::: <-styrofoam/////// <---hardboard
Step 4: Cut Top Piece
Place the doll, er... action figure, about where you're going to want him on top of your top piece. We're getting ready to cut the shape that Han will be framed by. Measure twice and cut once the square shape around him. This would be a perfect time for the scroll saw or some quality Dremel time. Be sure to check out the second picture below to see what I mean.
You don't need a fancy saw, you can use the same saw from earlier. Just glue all the pieces back together when you're done and you're good to go.
Step 5: Make His Bed
Less is more with this step. Take your time and cut out a good shape of mini-Han in the styrofoam. I used a butter knife. Once you have your shape play around with the action figure and position him in the most 'frozen in carbonite' way you can. We're almost to the good part, stay with me.
Step 6: Glue the Top
Get a good layer of spray adheasive going and stick the top hardboard layer to the top styrofoam layer. Once the top is firmly attached continue to the next step.
Step 7: Fill in the Gaps With Styrofoam
Take some time on this step, it will save you alot more on the next. Fill in all the empty space around Han with bits of leftover styrofoam. Don't be afraid to smash it in there. Fill every hole. If you miss a spot the rubber will seep into the hole and create a 'dimple' in your project.
I eventually decided on removing the doll's hands from his arms, laying his arms flat and then gluing his hands in the proper place. This removed alot of stress from the styrofoam and made it much easier to deal with.
Step 8: Pour It On!
Start slow at first and use a little Plasti-Dip at first. Soon you'll get a feeling for how the stuff is going to roll over the different shapes on your project. Try to get most of the model covered in a thin layer of rubber. Be sure not to lose the detail of the face, this is what will really sell the finished product.
** LET THIS DRY FULLY **
Once it has dried you may add another layer of rubber. There will be areas that have 'sunk' in. To fix these just add some more styrofoam and then rubber coat over it. Use this layer to get a more finished feel to coating.
I used a third coat on everything but his hands, face, pants and belt. Basically anything that doesn't have much detail got the third treatment.
Step 9: Clean Up and Painting.
Go over the model and fix any small problems it may have. Try to get the area around Han to have a clean and smooth look.
Once that it is done it is time for the paint! I used a cheap metallic silver paint from the craft store. Be sure to give the paint a good shaking before you use it to stir up the shimmer inside.
Start painting from the corner and work your way to the model. Do one light coat and be sure not to blur any of the details in the model. Once that coat has dried you should add another. Paint to your liking. Once this has dried you are finished!
I have some other steps that are not necessary but will add to the 'awesomeness' factor of this instructable. Continue on if you wish, or go get the queso started...
Step 10: Optional: Add Sides and Lighting
I decided to spice up my queso dish with the magic of LED lighting. I popped by my local Radio Shack and picked up:
1 Red LED (1.7v 20mA)
1 Green LED (2.1v 20mA) - There were two in the box
1 Pair of LED Holders
1 Set of 68 ohm resistors
1 Set of 47 ohm resistors
1 Toggle Switch
1 Battery Holder (2 AAs)
Stuff you should already have
Thin solid wire
Hot glue or super glue
If you want to use different color LEDs or a different amount of LEDs you will need to use a LED calculator to figure out what resistors you will need. Here is my favorite. Here is another Helpful LED Link.
Take a leftover peice of hardboard and cut a side for your project. You should probably cut the other 3 sides while you're at it. I installed this on the left side of my queso dish near where Han's head is. Once you have your board you'll need to cut three holes in it. See the pictures below for more detail. The left-most hole will contain our circuit and lights. The middle hole will hold the on/off switch. The right-most hole will act as a 'drawer' for our battery pack so we can change them out.
I also cut out some pieces that were slightly bigger than the holes I cut. This allowed me to achieve a nice 'elevated' effect. Drill two holes in your left-most piece (one for each LED) and push the LED holders through them. Do the same for the switch on the middle (smallest) piece.
Glue all of these parts to each other and then glue those smaller sections over the holes in your side piece. Once you have this we'll start building the circuit.
Step 11: Optional: Wire Up the Lighting
Refer to the drawing below.
Take your red LED and connect the 68 ohm resistor to the (+) positive lead (the longer one). It doesn't matter which side of the resistor you put on to the (+) positive lead. Do the same with the green LED and the 47 ohm resistor. Once those are soldered together you can then wire this baby up in parallel. Connect the two open ends of the resistors to one another. Connect the two (-) negative (short) leads of the LEDs together. Once this is finished you need to plug the power into your circuit. Solder the negative (black) lead from the battery pack to the (-) negative connection that is connecting the short legs of the LEDs. Connect the red (+) positive lead from the battery pack to one of the legs of your switch. Connect an extra piece of wire from the other leg on the switch to the (+) positive side of your circuit (where the resistors are connected together.). Double-check your solders and make sure they are not flimsy.
Put batteries in the container and test the circuit. Everything should work when you flick the switch. If it doesn't then I would start over and re-solder everything. There isn't much there and the practice will be good for you.
Step 12: Optional: Glue It All in Place
Once the electronics are in place and working you can hollow out a cavity in the styrofoam for it all to rest. This hole should be big enough to not put any pressure on the circuit when we push it into the box.
Pull the battery pack through the hole you made for it. We need to attach a front for it as well. The holder I purchased had a top and bottom section. Be sure not to glue the top section of the battery holder in place or you will not be able to get the batteries out. Glue the front we cut for this to it. This will create a 'drawer' for the batter pack so we can change it whenever it runs low. Now push the battery pack back in and it should hang over a bit, exactly like a cabinet drawer.
** You can paint it now or in the next step. Use the silver paint from earlier. **
Make sure the hole is a solid fit and then put spray adheasive/hot glue/super glue on the (nearly) finished side piece. Push it on to the project and make sure it takes hold. Test the circuit again. Does it work?
Step 13: Optional: Paint It Up / Finish
Paint all the side pieces silver and wait for them to dry. Once they have finished drying you may glue them in place. Be sure to get a good amount of glue in there so it will stay in place.
Now that all the pieces are glued in place we should have a silver box made of wood and filled with styrofoam, more wood, some hastily assembled electronics and a very cold Han Solo.
Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoy making this as much as I did.
Send me pictures of your versions of this.
GregDDC at gmail.com