Hoth was the second 'set' I worked on. It took a little longer than Endor, but was fun to work with the fake snow.

The first thing I had to do was make a background. I cheated this time, and just scanned a centerfold from an Empire Strikes Back calendar, and printed it off. I positioned it on the back of the bookshelf so that the main picture could be seen past our models (a pic of the battle scene on the back and the Probot on the side).

The second step involved making the base of the scene. I was able to collect a lot of stryofoam blocks and carved out snowdrifts on the top of two of the larger pieces. Two pieces were needed so that they could be separated by the "rebel trench". I next painted a white glue mixture called "Podgy" over the foam and then sprinkled fake snow on it before it dried. After it dried, I shoveled more fake snow loose over the set, making drifts and filling in corners. The effect, especially when lit, is great for a snow scene.

I then wanted to concentrate on the Rebel Outpost. I found a piece of styrofoam that had a lot of "pockets, or shelves" and covered it with Podgy and fake snow too. I then collected a lot of "gadgets" that would look like tubes, cables, machinery, etc and placed them in and on the shelves of the pockets in the styrofoam. To make them look like they belonged there, I next got a hot glue gun and loaded it with the "sparkle" type glue stick. When melted, it looks like ice/snow. I drew back the glue gun and made icicles in the Rebel outpost building interior and exterior. Icicles drip from the ceiling, cables, shelves and wherever I could place them. The floor also has cables and tubes running over it, just like in ESB. Once the Rebel outpost was finished, I placed a tauntaun, Han, Luke, Leia, 21B, R2, FX7, Threepio and Rebel soldiers inside it. This part of the scene is on one side of the shelf, the other side would be the "Imperial" side, with soldiers and the Wampa Ice Cave.

The Wampa Ice Cave was also made from styrofoam, fake snow and icicles. Our model of the Wampa Ice Creature fits right in it. The scene was finished off with Imperial Snow Troopers, an AT-AT driver, and Commander. (Too bad the shelf isn't big enough to house our original AT-AT!).
From the Professionals:  Notes on how ILM created Hoth:

ILM at Hoth (10K)

A major effects sequence on Hoth involved an attack on the rebel stronghold by five Imperial walking machines. Most of the walker footage employed three eighteen-inch models which were stop-motion animated by Phil Tippet and Jon Berg. A couple of shots, however, required walkers to fall over, and for these, a larger, four-foot model was constructed and filmed with a custom high-speed camera to maintain a sense of mass as the walkers collapsed. While Richard Edlund waits behind the camera, stage technician Ed Hirsch adjusts a breakaway wire rig and Jon Berg positions the feet. Model shop foreman Steve Gawley assists. Surgical masks were worn to avoid inhaling the baking soda which doubled as snow.

"The walker sequence involved several different filming techniques. A large amount of it was shot using foreground miniature landscapes and painted backgrounds. We used about fifteen different background paintings in the walker sequence and the tauntaun shots. The largest was about thirty-five feet wide and two feet high."

"One of the shots that worked out rather nicely, I thought, is the one where Luke's speeder crashes into the snow. In the initial part of that scene - a POV shot out of the cockpit window - the speeder goes flying past one walker and then dives down almost to the point of impact, which is practically under the feet of one of the other walkers. What we wanted was to hold the shot all the way until the speeder actually hit the ground and then have snow flying up over the canopy. Well, that would be impossible to shoot in a stop-motion situation; so we did the shot in stop-motion all the way down until just before impact. Then we had our expert grip build a little luge rig for the camera. We called it that because the Olympic luge competition was going on at that time. It was sort of a sled with a plexiglass shield shaped like the speeder canopy, positioned in front of the camera. Then, with the camera at Luke's point of view, we smashed the whole rig into the snow. We used about thrity or forty frames of it, and we made a direct cut from the stop-motion footage to the luge so it looks like one continuous shot. The speeder goes in and snow flies up over the windshield. And it works. You're so caught up in Luke's situation that you don't even notice it."

-Richard Edlund, First Effects Camerman
- CINEFEX MAGAZINE, Number 2, 1980.