Introduction: Infusion Flasks From Bioshock Infinite
In Bioshock Infinite, Infusions are passive upgrades that temporally shift between states giving you a choice to upgrade your Health, Shield, or Salts. They are manufactured by the Lutece twins. You'll first get them in the Blue Ribbon restaurant.
I've been a long-time fan of the Bioshock series and I was extremely excited for Infinite to come out. Naturally, I wanted to have/make something from the game. So I focused on the Infusions as something that was readily recognizable and relatively easy to make.
It went extremely well with my Lutece costume at SDCC 2013. A lot of people commented on how I was the only one they've seen with an Infusion bottle. Alas, not all of us have time to make chalkboard sandwich boards.
The following is how I made the prop(s) as close to in-game proportions as possible. It may be scaled up and down as desired with different sized flasks, but everything else must be adjusted to compensate for this.
Things You'll Need
- 500mL Erlenmeyer flask (available at chemical supply shops or Amazon) Note: in-game the flasks have markings on the side indicating it's 500mL
- Size 20 Cork Stoppers (I got them here)
- Sharpies (medium and fine tip)
- Color printer (patterns are provided)
- Scissors (I personally used an X-Acto type knife and a self-healing mat)
- Adhesive tape (double-sided is recommended)
- Water and food coloring
- Flavored JELL-O and unflavored gelatin
Step 1: Prepping the Flasks
As I've said before, I used 500mL Erlenmeyer flasks since that's what they're marked as in-game. The "Erlenmeyer" designation references its conical shape which makes it suitable for boiling with reduced vapor loss or swirling to mix reagents together. You may also be familiar with its rounder relative, the Florence flask.
As you can see in the picture, they're approximately 18cm (7in) high. Plan accordingly if you plan to carry them around as a prop as it is a little bulky and hard to easily store away in a bag.
Be sure to wash it in plenty of warm, soapy water to clean it and remove any contaminants.
While it may be amusing to store Gatorade or some similar-colored drink in the bottle due to the nature of the prop, it is not recommended that you do so to drink from it. This is especially true if you've acquired a used flask. That is all.
Step 2: Neckbands and Labels
While you're waiting for the bottles to dry, you may want to isolate the neckband and the labels in an image-editing program to save on ink. The cork does not have to be printed.
I've seen examples of Victorian/Edwardian-era bottle labels and they seem to be made of a matte paper. In other words, standard computer paper should be sufficient for your needs.
I have provided the pattern below. Unfortunately, the flask proportions in-game don't seem to match up exactly with standard flask shapes. As such, the patterns for the neckband and labels have to be adjusted separately to fit. Experiment with proportions to make them fit your flask.
As the textures are extracted directly from the game files, the color contrast is not identical to how the game engine renders it. Adjust to your taste.
For reference, the textures in the game files are named:
Fun fact: Nostrums first appeared in the 2011 E3 gameplay demo. Their function seems to have evolved into what are now known as Gears and Infusions.
Another one: The Salts Infusion resembles an antique salt shaker while a Salts Bottle resembles an antique smelling salts container.
Cut out the neckband and labels and place them on the empty flasks and adjust as needed.
You may want to fill the flask with water first before affixing the labels with tape. Glue may be more authentic, but it makes it difficult to remove later on if something goes wrong.
Step 3: Colored Water
For decorative purposes, distilled water is ideal as it avoids leaving a mineral deposit ring on the neck when the water evaporates.
Also, you can practice that swirling technique that I told you about.
Step 4: The Cork
In the game, the corks appear to be what are known as "straight corks" with beveled edges. These are used most often in wine bottles. You may have noticed that your flask has a much wider opening than a standard wine bottle. I have been unable to find these in large sizes for cheap or in small quantities.
So I have substituted with what are known as tapered corks. Size #20 seems to fit this bottle best.
Compare sizes here: http://www.zandur.com/prod_closures.html
If anyone knows where to get large straight corks for a low price, it would be greatly appreciated.
Additionally, the corks seem to be printed with a label. After some research, I found that most companies charge exorbitant prices for printing with simple names, not to speak of custom designs.
So, the most difficult part of making this prop comes down to a steady hand and some Sharpies. I have isolated the cork label for your reference.
Step 5: Final Prop and Some Things to Consider
Now you're done!
For that little extra touch, you might want to find the plate that Rosalind Lutece holds. It appears to have some scalloped edges and unfortunately, I can't find the texture file. This should not be confused with the wishing well plate used by the Luteces for the coin toss event. In any case, any large dinner plate should suffice.
If you plan on walking around with the bottle, consider adding gelatin to the water to thicken it. I've tried it with some flavored JELL-O (lemon, blue raspberry, and cherry). However, since it'll be sitting out at room temperature you need to add some unflavored gelatin to thicken it. Let it sit overnight to cool completely.
Be careful as it will get moldy if you don't refrigerate it or throw it out.
Some may suggest hiding some color-changing LEDs in the neck to simulate the temporally unstable, shifting nature of the Infusions. This is complicated by the fact that each Infusion variety has a different label. It may be possible to paste all three on the same bottle and rotate it as the light changes.