My DIY budget Han build


New Hunter
Hi folks, on a budget and not got the set up, space, budget or tools for a top-quality full box build. I'm just doing the front for now.

Got the face from eBay for £30 and really happy with it - very very good likeness and perfect scale.

9mm MDF backboard and sides all cut from one board and only cost £20, cutting was free (nice people)
Couple of 2.5m trusses for back support were £11 the pair.

About £50 spent so far on clamps, glues, saws etc (things most people may already have)

Scaled up and measured a full size tiled print of the front section - which fitted perfectly after building the panel (thank god! my inch to mm conversions were spot on!) Used the usual plan diagram that has been on these forums for ages as my base for the size of the parts and the printout.


Edges were glued with 'No More Nails' (not sure of the US equivalent) and there's a trussed frame behind in attached with NMNs and nails to give it strength.

So next will be to outline the form of Han, and build up a mass of expanding foam. Next, I'll carve the general shape into this, and then either carve the creases directly (depending on how workable I'm finding it) or approximate the form, then use something like paper mache on top to form the accurate shape of the creases and features.

The body of Han is recessed 9mm, so when I think about it, I'll need have 9mm of foam at the base BEFORE I start to carve the features - otherwise when I fill the recess with wood glue, it would sink some of the body edges thus losing correct outline.

Would anyone recommend what I cover the foam/paper mâché shape in to give it decent strength - some kind of fibreglass resin or just PVA glue?

Once the body is done, I'll go down the methane of soaking old trousers and shirt in wood glue and laying it over.

Hands will be alginate/plaster casts

Carbonite effect will be poured wood glue, probably, or some kind of filler. not sure yet.

Tips for what to use for the blended parts like behind the fingers would be appreciated (where Han is 'stretching' the carbonate as his hands reach forward). Obviously I read a lot about Bondo, I understand any kind of UK body-filler should be ok - as in it's accurate to work with and strong afterwards, plus easy to sand and paint.

Painting, will get to that when (if) I get to that stage!

Any tips, comments would be appreciated - or just encouragement - I think the tricky parts are yet to come!



New Hunter
It sounds like you have a pretty solid plan moving forward. I'm just following this thread hoping to learn some more low budget ways to build one.


New Hunter
Cheers gk. Will try and keep regular updates.

As you can see I've applied the expanding foam. Looks a mess at the moment but actually really happy with it - it will be formed into a very decent base for the entire torso and was quick and easy to apply (even though I lost the nozzle to the can and had to use pliers to activate the spray. I would not recommend doin the same!) But all's well that ends well.

The key part now is doing a decent and accurate carve - even if I can't get great definition out of the foam (but from research in ex foam props, it seems I should be able to). Paper mache will help in the trickier areas or to repair gaps/mistakes.

Then I'm planing on covering it in wood filler now rather than wood glue. Same with the carbonite effect - thinking the wood filler route will allow me to get accurate to the film texture.

Carving starts tonight...


New Hunter
So the beige foam is uncarveable - completely uneven and full if huge air pockets. Probably due to poor application or poor product. I bought a better brand to plug the main holes and, after coming back to it this morning, it's a far better and consistant foam.

So, going to remove as much of the beige and pretty much start again withe the white foam that is very very carveable.

Bit of a hiccup but better sort it properly now than literally paper over it...



New Hunter
So removed all the old foam. Sprayed new. Much much better density. Carved outlines and depth. To get good depth contours, I screen grabbed frames from ESB where he's being loaded into Slave 1 and composited them in Photoshop. Ended up with a perfect side on view of the prop's contours. Carved folds and features very roughly. Covered in masking tape and now soaked with thinned down PVA.

Starting to take form

May paper mache or may put fabric on. But to be honest, it looks 90% there already in person. Will decide when the glue is dry.



Well-Known Hunter
This is the most interesting way I've ever seen someone create a HIC sculpt. Looking forward to seeing how this develops!