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5 Top Tips for Prosthetic Wound FX

Wound FX (also known as casualty simulation or moulage) is one of the most popular uses of prosthetics, but getting a convincing effect can take more than just applying a prosthetic and applying buckets of blood. Here are our 5 Top Tips for Prosthetic Wound FX.

1. Blood

It’s an obvious addition if you are applying wound prosthetics, but also consider using blood in other areas. A little blood in the hairline or coming from the nose, mouth or near the eyes (not in the eye itself) can give a disturbing effect. Remember that there are different types of blood for different looks; as well as our standard Special FX Blood, we also stock Zombie Blood which is darker in colour and suggests that the fluid is old or infected. Our makeup palette also has a dried blood colour which is great for creating blood effects that won’t smear or run. Try mixing different styles of blood to give more depth to your makeup and don’t use too much – there’s no point going to all the trouble of applying a prosthetic then covering it in buckets of the red stuff. Keep it subtle, less is more.

Torn Face Prosthetic
Try using different types of blood to give your makeup more depth

2. Choose the right material for the job

If you are working in the casualty simulation industry (applying wounds to simulate real world situations to allow the police, military or medical staff to train for extreme situations) then using silicone appliances will be the best choice. The possibility of seeing an edge isn’t as much of a concern, and silicone prosthetics are reusable which means they can be used over and over again for different projects. If you have a one-off project such as a one day film or TV shoot or a Halloween party, gelatine prosthetics are great as the edges can be made invisible using Gelatine Blender. You can also use our Sil-Blend Paste to hide edges on our silicone prosthetics, but remember you are adding material to the prosthetic itself (rather than melting away material, which is what happens with the gelatine pieces) so each application will be different. Watch the video below to see how we applied our Zombie Mini Kit and Autopsy Scar Prosthetic, which are both cast in silicone.

3. Experiment with creating wounds from your makeup kit

As well as Prosthetic Gelatine which can be used to build up flesh like wounds directly on the skin, we also stock Skin Wizard Instant Burn Kits which come with 3 different coloured gels to allow you to create horrific wound effects on-the-fly. Being able to produce wound effects straight from the box without prosthetics is a handy skill to have and it allows you to have complete freedom with the size and shape of the wound area – give it a go!

FX Burn Gels
Our Skin Wizard Kit is an ideal way to create direct application wounds

4. Add dirt

Adding dirt to wound prosthetics suggests that the something happened in the real world; if you’re trying to simulate an accident outdoors chances are those wounds wouldn’t be clean. Fullers Earth (clay powder) is fantastic for adding dust and dirt, and if you add some drops of water it clumps up and clings to the skin and clothes like lumps of mud, but is easy to wash away.

5. Add glass, leaves, shrapnel and stiches

If you are doing makeup FX to simulate someone who has been beaten or wounded outdoors, stick a few scraps of leaves into the blood and onto the skin so it looks like your model has been lying in the dirt. Dried herbs also work well as miscellaneous debris that would stick to the skin. If your actor is supposed to have been in a car crash or a bar fight, adding fake glass is a great way to give an extra dimension to your makeup. Sili-Glass is a clear silicone rubber that looks like glass but is completely safe – ideal for using in prosthetics. Never use real glass.

There are many objects that can be added to wound appliances to make them look particularly gruesome. Fake knives, scissors and screwdrivers are al favourites, but also consider smaller objects that can suggest that the wound truly penetrates the skin. Scraps of wood and blunt metal work well and our Shrapnel Wound Prosthetic is specifically designed for the addition of a small piece of debris.

shrapnel wound prosthetic
Adding a little shrapnel can bring a lot to your effect

Got a makeup FX question or comment?

We love hearing from Nimba Creations customers, Cosplayers, Actors, Movie Makers and Makeup FX artists at every stage of their career. If you’ve got a question or comment about our products, Makeup FX or want to show off your latest creation you can contact us via our Facebook Page.

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