April 22nd, 2015
Sometimes, no matter how much you think you’re prepared, the requirements of a job can surprise you. In these cases, it’s a good idea to be primed for the unexpected and keep some useful extras in your kit. Maybe you don’t have the time you were promised, maybe part of your kit was lost in transit, or maybe you run out of an essential when stuck on the side of a mountain – it happens!
In this case, we’re looking at pre-created wounds. In an ideal world you can sculpt, mould and create wounds as you need them, created specifically for scenes or characters. But if you’re caught off-guard it’s worth keeping a couple of pre-formed wounds packed away for emergencies. We’ve pulled together some options for creating realistic injuries when you’re under the gun.
Millenium FX have set out some useful distinctions to be aware of when choosing pre-made wounds. When picking prosthetics, the two main factors to be aware of are the suppleness and the edges of the wound. For an ideal, realistic look the prosthetic needs to be as fleshlike as possible, and move naturally when worn so that the edges blend seamlessly into the wearer’s skin. Their single use prosthetics are cast in a super soft platinum silicone gel with a polyurethane cap plastic skin, which allows the edges to be blended into the skin with alcohol – whereas their reusable prosthetics are cast in a tougher, ‘10 shore A’ platinum silicone rubber, and the edges are not designed to be blended away.
Reuseable wounds are made of a firmer rubber so that they can survive repeated use, and recurrent adhesive application and removal. As such, the edges can’t be as thin as individual wounds – if they were the tissue-thin edges of the individual wounds they would inevitably break under the repetition. Reuseable wounds are perfect for training, such as casualty simulation or in a teaching environment, where the total realism of the wound isn’t the primary objective. They can also be used in film, TV and theatre in some situations – if the edges are hidden under clothing, with the wound erupting through a tear, for example.
The Millenium FX Fragmentation Set (£34.95 + VAT) contains a good variety of lacerations, with four colour options and the choice of single use or reusable durability. Their range of bullet wounds which vary in size and calibre, as well as distinct entry and exit wounds, are also worth checking out.
They also have a range of stitched wounds, including the well-recognised Y-shaped incision from autopsies (£32 + VAT).
We’ve spoken before of the fantastic service provided by Trauma FX before. They have a variety of pre-made prosthetics which can make your job a lot easier. We think their SIMSLEEVES range is great – a range of ‘rip-resistant, full silicone sleeves’ which can be pulled onto limbs, or torsos, to simulate major injuries. They’re great for when you’re in a bind and need a quick, affordable and reusable injury. We’re impressed with their GSW Femur SIMSLEEVE (£156), with a smaller entry wound on one side and a large, gaping blast wound on the other.
For smaller injuries, their SIMWOUNDS range is extensive and created from their wealth of training experience. They allow users to apply the pre-formed silicone wound directly to the skin, which is easy to apply, remove and reuse. All of their packs include medical-grade adhesives, a non-abrasive adhesive remover, their fantastic simulated blood and user guidelines to help achieve a more realistic look. All in all, they’re excellent value for money! Their large Severe Burn SIMWOUND (£43.80) is a great size, with varieties in colour and texture as a great basis to your own colouring.
ScreenFace is a mecca for all of your kit needs, but they have some handy bits and pieces which can help you create realistic wounds on the fly. Their Water-Melon Appliances are a great alternative to latex options in case of allergies. The pieces are single-use, with the edges dissolved using 99% IPA, and they can be painted using just about anything. They have a variety of injuries available, from lacerations to GSWs, at very affordable prices.
ScreenFace also stocks Make-Up International’s Simulated Skin Effects (£14.25), which is perfect for creating quick blistered, flaking skin looks. Apply it in thin layers, allowing it to dry between applications, to create a blistered skin effect on the spot.
PS Composites have all of the raw materials you need to create fantastic, detailed prosthetics. Some handy kit saviours they stock include the classic Kryolan Collodion (£10), to create scars which can then be painted, and their Skin Sculpt system (£29.95). This three-part system allows you to create prosthetics which you can directly apply without the need for moulds, so you can create the wounds that you need wherever you are.
Keeping some good, handy moulds in your kit for on-the-spot creations are always a good idea, in case you don’t have time to create one yourself. The Back Porch F/X Silicone Moulds come in at around £6, in a huge variety of shapes and sizes, and are available from Guru Make-up Emporium. The moulds pair well with the Maekup Probondo Pinky (£18) to create 3D self-adhesive wounds, scrapes and injuries.
Finally, we have the pre-made wounds from Creative Skins FX and Sjaan Gillings, who has worked on everything from Game of Thrones to Our Girl, which we interviewed her about last year. Creative Skins FX have a huge range of wounds, but we love their Shrapnel selection (£49.20) which has 10 appliances of various shapes and sizes, perfect for quickly creating shrapnel injuries.