Theater Effects: Gunshot Wounds

Picture of Theater Effects: Gunshot Wounds
Yes, thats right, instructableites. The long-anticipated sequel has finally arrived.
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Step 1: What You Need:

Picture of What You Need:
You will need the following:

Trauma Stack Makeup
Flesh Stack Makeup
Stipple Sponge
Blood Gel
Flesh Latex
Sculpey or similar modeling clay
A toothpick or similar, I used a Flosspick
Spirit Gum

Step 2: Form the Form

Picture of Form the Form
The molded clay that gives the wound its shape is called the Form. Flatten it out on the table and shape it so that it looks like a flat volcano.

Once you get the shape good, carefully use the toothpick to pull it off the table.

Step 3: Apply the Form

Picture of Apply the Form
Now it is time to stick the Form to you skin. Both men and women need to shave the intended area for this (don't try to lie girls, we know you have arm hair too) for two reasons:

1. Arm hair interferes with flesh latex application

2. It will hurt like balls when you tear the spirit gum off

So, turn the Form over and brush spirit gun all over the bottom. Lightly tap the wet spirit gum until it is sticky, known as "tacking". Then, apply it to your skin. Be sure to get the edges of the Form to blend as evenly with your skin as possible.

Step 4: Conceal Edges

Picture of Conceal Edges
Now we need to conceal the edge of where the Form meets the skin.

Apply generous amounts of the latex around the edges, the tap it gently to smooth out the bumps.

While you are waiting for the latex to dry, put some notches and grooves in the Form with the toothpick (or Flosspick), to give the blood gel "channels" to run in.

Step 5: Add bruise

Picture of Add bruise
Use the stipple sponge to fleck the surroundings of the wound with Bruise Purple from the trauma stack. Be careful, a little goes a long way.

Then, use a q-tip to rub it into an even bruise color

Step 6: Add Red

Picture of Add Red
Next, using the technique from the previous step, apply red makeup from the trauma stack to the Form, except this time, apply a liberal amount and cover the entire Form evenly.
freepancho5 months ago
Awesome! an additional way to conceal the edge of the clay is with blush.
HoLy CrAp, that actually looks like somebody took a jackhammer to your arm!!!
SG1Oniell4 years ago
you're quite fond of that stiple sponge aren't you?
Its Giggles4 years ago
yum that looks delicious
flyingace5 years ago
The "What You Need" list calls for Flesh Stack Makeup, but you never mention it being used in the instructable. What is the Flesh Stack Makeup for? Also, I've been hunting for these items on line. Is the Trauma Stack you refer to the same as a Severe Trauma Stack or an Injury Stack. Those are ones that I see frequently but no Trauma Stack yet. And thanks for this Instructable, it's going to make my costume complete!
Injury stacks are the same thing as trauma stacks, sorry If I 'm too late to help.
goodernst5 years ago
it is more like a bruise but it is cool
junits155 years ago
thats sooooooooooooo awsome! if i had all the supplies i would soo do this!
Canookian6 years ago
Its horrible (not your instructable, that was awesome)! I tried going to your lacerations instructable, but somethings wrong with it. It just says that it cant find the page. Is there any other way I can get to it?
TrumpetNeel (author)  Canookian6 years ago
the Instructageeks are fixing it as we speak (type?)
Yeah, we're trying to figure out what happened. The data isn't lost, that's for sure.
WHY???!!! The lacerations are keeping their secrets in secracy from me!! Why cant I learn their secret secrets???!!!!
I STILL can't learn the lacerations' secret secrets!! After almost a month!! WHY DONT THE INSTRUCTAGEEKS FIX IT!!!! WHYYYYYYY????!!!!! *breaks down sobbing* Well, is making a laceration similar to making a gunshot wound? Like, if you just shape the putty stuff into a long, jaggy thing instead of a volcano? I think Ill try that come Halloween...gosh, I never thought that Id say this, but I hope it falls on a school day this year...muahaha... Thatd be great. Getting suspended for being mortally wounded. What nice teachers. Ill put a laceration on my throat (since theres the dress code where your belly has to hide behind a t-shirt) and a couple gun shots on my arms or head. I cant wait! OOH!!! You know that foamy stuff thats used for fixing cracks in air vents and stuff? I forgot the name, but you could put a laceration on your belly, then spray loops of 'intestine' with the foamy stuff, then dye it reddish purple or whatever intestines look like (why did I just feel hungry then?). But Im not sure if that stuffs toxic if used topically. Itd look pretty damn real and cool if it isnt, though!
A good solution to the whole "caustic foam" thing would be to use nylon stockings with balled up newspapers stuffed inside and then the whole piece soak in fake blood. Lacerations are slightly simpler than the gunshot actually. Just make a layer of liquid latex, let dry, another layer of liquid latex and then toilet paper, then another layer of liquid latex and use a toothpick or any sharp enough object to cut the laceration into the latex. you can add layers if the first part isn't satisfactory.
Sprayfoam Insulation (what I and my father call it) isn't topically toxic, but it is caustic. Getting flecks of it on my hand left me with 2 small scars that look like someone jagged a couple of pencils in my hand. So, putting it directly on your skin isn't a good idea.
jeebus, id almost forgotten about commenting here XD my friend Shenannigans and I tried the selophane idea and it turned out horribly. we couldnt get it to spray properly so we wound up spraying the sidewalks and street and whatnot out of boredom and frustration, and resorted to flinging fake blood at each other to kinda compensate for gore effect, lol
I don't think that its toxic, but it sticks to ANYTHING and EVERYTHING. I got a small fleck of it on my foot, and I couldn't get it off. Eventually it wore off, but it still wouldn't be a good thing to spray on your belly.
What if you were to, say, put a kind of covering over your belly? Like...hmmm...I would say a few layers of selophane, maybe? Something like that, and just make sure to cover any obviousness with some gore, and youd be set! Like, wrap the selophane around the circumference of your torso, then when youre done you can cut it off from the back
TrumpetNeel (author)  Canookian6 years ago
(removed by author or community request)
Huh...cow intestine...Id seriously worry about disease. And how would you get a spilly effect? I guess the ends could be covered by wearing a jacket, though...Maybe you could use some sort of tubing for the squeemish (well, obviously theyre not so squeemish if they desire the affect of an intestine spillage, but dont wanna go so far as animal assistance). Ha ha, you mean Canida? I still havent read any of her things, but Ive seen the results. Pretty neats Oooh! I read youre laceration thingy! I had to type it up on google, though, and I could only read it a section of the time, but if its still broken and someone wants to read it, thats what they have to do
rendergirl5 years ago
beautiful! any advice on how to make the back of your head appear to be blown out? I have long hair and wouldn't want to shave my head for this. Also would need bits of brain and skull, etc.
wig cap, as well as modding your own wig with nastiness you can make out of more liquid latex, i'd suggest mixing it with strings of yarn or any extra wig hair, and adding tons upon tons of thick fake blood.
Asuraku5 years ago
It's a cool gore effet and all, but have you ever been shot, or even seen someone get shot? I've been shot and it looked nothing like that, nor was it as fun to produce. Good effect none the less.
jordan085 years ago
i like this it is very cool for halloween
The guy next to me wants this done to his head. Oh my. He's been shot in the head.
doopits5 years ago
Dammit, for some reason I had the wrong image - here it is photo
pimpuser6 years ago
Yo this is absolutely cool and EZ do you mind if a film the step-by-step and send it to indy mogul... I would give you the credit
That is absolutely fantastic! :) Cheers! We tried our hand at some wounds for our latest no-budget film. Basically the one Pete was supposed to have a wound from being hit in the head with a hammer and Sarah had a similar wound for a headbutt.
F:\Sociopathica\Day7\JPEGSD7\D7Altered\Sequence 0.jpgF:\Sociopathica\Day7\JPEGSD7\D7Altered\Sequence 50.jpg
gruesomely cool
this is sooo cool it looks so real.
ricky02076 years ago
eeeeuwww! that looks to real... some half blind person might think you had been shot, and call the abulance!
UnaKRon6 years ago
I have to agree with Samcursha, this is more of a large puncture wound than an exit wound..and for SURE it is not an entrance wound. Not even the muzzle flash and gases would do this at point blank, they simply make a star like tear where the skin tries to expand rapidly. I suggest a good forensics book. Other peoples accidents are great research for makeup effects. I'm not even sure a FMJ .50 cal would make that wound. Also you can use mortician's wax(available from a makeup store) or latex to create the build up for the wound. gelatin can be used if you make a mold..otherwise it will have a rounded edge..which is usally not the type of wound you see with a bullet, but more of burn effects. hobby lobby sales Latex as molding is simply thicker...take a bit and add some water for more of a liquid latex consistency or just build it up as is with some paper towels pieces, if you are building up a large area, molds also work great for thick build up prosthetic pieces you need to let dry a while. And you don't have to have latex occupy an area of build up, you can just slosh it in the mold and the outside builds up. But you don't have to fill it all with latex, just what you would see and then pad it with cotton or paper towels. Think of an "m" the space between the three lines of the m are blank space you would not see from the top only from the area below it in this instance that is the view from underneath the appliance..the forearm. So just pad that area with cotton instead of latex that would add hours to dry properly. Ok..ok..I'll do a instructable tonight to show what I mean.
an FMJ .50 will shred a man at 1000 yards. the "red mist" is a very real phenomenon.
I believe it's called "pink mist" and that it's associated with close-range to bombs and such. But, nice instructable! I'm bringing my make-up stuff (effects make-up, not to make me look pretty) next time I go to my friend's house. We are going to Vegas...Weirdest murder fakes death by gun wound, only to fake dead in street and be crushed by tour bus... On second thought, maybe I won't be bringing this to any casinos...
And, yea, a .50 cal machine gun can cut you in half... I've seen a picture taken by a gunnery sergeant in Iraq, of a .50 cal magnum sniper shot to some dude's head...peeled his skull open and backwards...the words at the bottom of the picture said "Hope you haven't eaten lunch yet!"
There's no such thing as a .50 "magnum" in the DoD's just plain .50 cal. however on that note. I saw a sniper video with the .50, and one shot split the guy's entire upper right quadrant...(shoulder, arm, from his waist up to his collar bone....)...and ripped it from his body. One shot. as far as that being an accurate exit's feasible, provided it was a hollow point and only struck soft tissue.
what i meant was, I'm not sure a .50 would leave THAT wound. Yes it is a very large round and they can tumble break, apart and cause very large temporary and permanent cavities...but because of that...I think the arm bones would have been shattered here and the exit wouldn't look like that...and if it were an wouldn't look like that as well. Also a .50 cal doesn't mean instant disintegration. There are videos of jack rabbits that sometime they are blown apart and sometimes they just go limp because not enough energy was passed quick enough into the poor little thing. Ballistics can have MANY different outcomes..and even a .30-06 can make a pink/red mist..that is simply blood and tissue being pushed out at high speeds. :P You would bet a .356 magnum would penetrate the sinus cavity at point blank or that a 9mm would penetrate the skull at point blank but there were two cases in the ER I volunteered at. One ended lodged in the bone the other on the opposite side of the head between the skin and traveled along the skull on the inside. It is strange stuff. Secondary projectiles such as bone also make them behave differently. Point being though... Doesn't look like a bullet wound to me :P But i encourage the author to keep experimenting with fx makeup and to invest in Forensics books, the ones with nasty pictures showing how different things affect the body and tissue.
A.C.E. UnaKRon6 years ago
thisyup about the 9 mill. the guy in the movie the departed shot a guy in the head with a 9 mill hollow point and it blew stuff out of the back of his head. you could use this and this in a movie.
UnaKRon UnaKRon6 years ago
The bullet traveled along the inside of the SKIN not the SKULL.
A.C.E. UnaKRon6 years ago
yeah, shoot something like a 30:06 at a hardback dictionary and you see what it means!
Shmilt6 years ago
And also that is awesome compared to the effects in the movie monster makeup show at Universal Studieos Florida and they do some high class s***!!!
TrumpetNeel (author)  Shmilt6 years ago
I'm flattered.

You can find the exact stuff I used at

oh wait, never mind. i think i found it, there are diff names. it would be easier if you confirmed it. is this it?
yeah man, this is sweet! me and my friend are making a movie, and when i went to the link, there was alot of stuff, how do you get to the stuff u had in the instructable?a.k.a.flesh stack/trama stack/ and so on.
Thanks for the great instructable! Worked great for me ( photo ).
TrumpetNeel (author)  professorspecs6 years ago
Great job!
Jeszer6 years ago
(removed by author or community request)
J_SCAP Jeszer6 years ago
"ungly"???? ur spelling is "ungly" once you fix ur "minor" spelling errors then you can coment on this guys thetor crap
TrumpetNeel (author)  Jeszer6 years ago
excuse me?
don't listen to the ones that can't cope with bloody things, this is AWESOME!!! im so gettin like $40 and buyin heaps of stuff then makin some of these and your lacerations wich has been blocked by instructables btw and this one might get blocked also - i hope not
TrumpetNeel (author)  --Thatguy--6 years ago
it's not blocked, there was some sort of javascript error.
Shmilt6 years ago
Yo does anybody know where to get the supplies online?
Patented6 years ago
very nice!!look like real
dude you should put one of these things but bigger on your stomach! dude that would be so awsome it would look like somthing ripped out of your stomack
dkfa6 years ago
shave your head and apply sevral of these wounds to your head.....imagin.........
cb_326 years ago
that looks awesome, you should post stuff for zombie effects
i highly recommend getting some spirit gum remover to go along with that spirit gum if you dont want to be in large amounts of pain when you take it off (believe me i was a zombie in a play once). you could probably get it whereever you got the spirit gum.
awsome im gona use this on april fools day at school one question though where do you get all your stuff?
oh ya and could i put one on my fore head or would that not work?
TrumpetNeel (author)  deathfromabove6 years ago
Yes, it would work fine, but you would need someone to do it for you. You could do it yourself, but ti would be a huge pain in the rear.
thanks do ya know where you got the makeup and other stuff
TrumpetNeel (author)  deathfromabove6 years ago
check card & party shops near halloween
TrumpetNeel (author) 6 years ago
Hey everyone! check out the glitch! it says this instructable was published on Jan. 1, 1970! LOLZ!!
aha, youve done it again, i like your insructables because it shows very uniqe stuff that i didnt know about, keep up the good work and ill have a full zombie by holloween.
hobolicous6 years ago
this is verry nice but looks nothing like a gun shout wound.I am a vetran cop and been shot and it looked nothing like this.

chech this out
TrumpetNeel (author)  hobolicous6 years ago
Right, but this is for movies, designed for an audience that is accustomed to the unrealistic. When they typical moviegoer thinks of a gunshot wound, this is what they think of.
mrmath6 years ago
It's a nasty wound, but I just don't see it as a GSW. Not that I've ever seen one for real, and can compare that to this, but the "volcano" part just looks too big to me. Tell you what, do this again, and then shoot yourself in the other arem and have someone post side by side pictures. :) PS: Just in case you're not sure, I'M JUST KIDDING! No one should shoot themseleves in the arm!
i have seen a gun shot wound on war and police shows up close and that does look just like a real one
I think to a theater audience, It would get the point across just fine.
TrumpetNeel (author)  hack124x7686 years ago
Hey was your name supposed to be 1024x768?
It was, when I typed it for the first time a few years ago, but It looked cool this way so I kept it. Typos are a great way to show personality, when used in moderation.
TrumpetNeel (author)  mrmath6 years ago
True, this is indeed medically inaccurate, but this is a movie gunshot wound, not an ER recreation
Very nice effect!
twisted6 years ago
YAY fake blood! lol good job! its awsome. ~Twisted
does anybody sell "bloody fleshy cut off arm stubs" to amputees (ones with a sense of humor)? that'd be awesome on halloween
robodud36 years ago
been so phyced 4 this ever sens the lasserations man great job! doin this as soon as i get the stuff
canida6 years ago
Beautiful job - that looks absolutely foul! I can't wait for an excuse to try it.
Very cool, I should try that this halloween!

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