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Author Topic: Fake blood and water pistols - I NEED YOUR HELP!  (Read 4124 times)

Barmymoo

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Now I know this would probably go better into the Arts and Crafts section, but there hasn't been a single post in there since June 26th and this is a bit urgent, so please forgive me!

As some of you know I'm taking a play to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August and I'm in charge of props. I got an email from the director asking for all kinds of elaborate and complicated things, most of which I can manage on my own but one I was thinking you guys might be able to advise me on.

Here is what he said to me:

Quote
So! I've had this mad idea about water pistols. My thinking is, if we fill them with a (completely washable) 'blood' substance and disguise them as guns, we can have people shooting each other with them and writing 'Aaargh!' and 'Nooo!' and such on each  other in the blood. Now May, I know this is mad. Everyone has told me this is mad. But it would be SO cool!

And he goes on to say that if it doesn't work, we can do something else. But it would be good if it could work!

My thinking was to do with that invisible ink which becomes visible when you get it wet. We used to use them as children to write secret notes to each other. If we wrote the words "Aaaargh" and "Nooo" and so forth onto fabric and sprayed red-dyed water at them, they would show up, yes?

Issues:
  • This will have to be done every day, so I need to be able to wash and reapply the words easily (shouldn't be an issue)
  • I'm not sure those pens work on fabric without blurring too much to be legible
  • Would a water pistol sufficiently saturate the ink for it to work?

So arty crafty type people, have you heard of anything that might do this? Any magical substance that would show up when sprayed with water/other substance that can look like blood?

I don't think trying to write in fake blood with a water pistol would work, due to lack of accuracy etc. But if you think it could, I'd love to know about that too! Thanks for any help :)
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There's this really handy "other thing" I'm going to write as a footnote to my abstract that I can probably explore these issues in. I think I'll call it my "dissertation."

redglasscurls

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Re: Fake blood and water pistols - I NEED YOUR HELP!
« Reply #1 on: 06 Jul 2010, 03:40 »

I would think accuracy wouldn't be too hard (and easy to check, just buy a $2 water gun) but I'm a bit worried that the ink/fake blood couldn't be dark enough to show up and still be liquid enough to shoot from a water gun.
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Lunchbox

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Re: Fake blood and water pistols - I NEED YOUR HELP!
« Reply #2 on: 06 Jul 2010, 03:54 »

I agree with Manda, and if it were dark enough it'd be quite hard to wash out.

If it helps, my standard fake blood mixture is a nice dribbly solution of cocoa powder, red food dye (with perhaps a few drops of yellow and blue to darken it up), and water. The cocoa powder helps it dry brown and go a bit crusty, and makes the red not so red. It washes off skin okay, and out of black clothes, but I wouldn't try it on any other fabric.
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Thomas Edison

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Re: Fake blood and water pistols - I NEED YOUR HELP!
« Reply #3 on: 06 Jul 2010, 04:15 »

Oh cocoa powder is a good idea. I've always used chocolate sauce because it thickens the mixture to give it a more visceral look (and because it's tasty for actors to eat), glucose syrup, red food dye and a couple drops of blue food dye. Only problem was that it stained skin if left on too long and could do damage to anyone with diabetes.


What are the characters outfits like? If the ones being shot all wore white tops it'd definitely clear up the visibility issue (but might hinder the washability issue).
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Barmymoo

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Re: Fake blood and water pistols - I NEED YOUR HELP!
« Reply #4 on: 06 Jul 2010, 04:17 »

I am pretty sure it's white shirts, which would mean we might need a clean one for each show. Obviously that's something I'd rather avoid... Thanks for the advice on making fake blood, I had no real idea.

So no ideas about the possibility of invisible ink and red water? I was hoping that would be the solution, it would be amazing if writing just appeared on the shirt.
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There's this really handy "other thing" I'm going to write as a footnote to my abstract that I can probably explore these issues in. I think I'll call it my "dissertation."

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Re: Fake blood and water pistols - I NEED YOUR HELP!
« Reply #5 on: 06 Jul 2010, 04:39 »

The only invisible inks I have known about are ones that appear (brown or light purple) when heat or UV light is applied, or once I was ink-bombed and as it dried it completely disappeared, never to show up again.
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october1983

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Re: Fake blood and water pistols - I NEED YOUR HELP!
« Reply #6 on: 06 Jul 2010, 05:17 »

I guess one thing you could try is writing the words on the t-shirts with some kind of wax (could probably do it with a white candle) - it's possible that then the water would run off the fabric where the wax was applied, and be absorbed where it wasn't. Not sure how effective it'd be, or if the colour would bleed too much, but it might be worth a try!
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Ballard

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Re: Fake blood and water pistols - I NEED YOUR HELP!
« Reply #7 on: 06 Jul 2010, 10:34 »

Quote
Now May, I know this is mad. Everyone has told me this is mad. But it would be SO cool!

Your director's email voice is like that of a movie character.
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Barmymoo

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Re: Fake blood and water pistols - I NEED YOUR HELP!
« Reply #8 on: 06 Jul 2010, 14:17 »

He's this guy and he's amazing.

The candle idea is interesting! Kind of reverse of what I had in mind but would be awesome.
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There's this really handy "other thing" I'm going to write as a footnote to my abstract that I can probably explore these issues in. I think I'll call it my "dissertation."

allison

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Re: Fake blood and water pistols - I NEED YOUR HELP!
« Reply #9 on: 06 Jul 2010, 14:53 »

White crayon works for that as well.
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Barmymoo

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Re: Fake blood and water pistols - I NEED YOUR HELP!
« Reply #10 on: 19 Jul 2010, 07:08 »

More advice seeking!

I need to make a variety of fake beards. Someone suggested that fake cobwebby stuff, and I am thinking about cotton wool, but what else would make a good fake beard?
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There's this really handy "other thing" I'm going to write as a footnote to my abstract that I can probably explore these issues in. I think I'll call it my "dissertation."

allison

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Re: Fake blood and water pistols - I NEED YOUR HELP!
« Reply #11 on: 19 Jul 2010, 08:25 »

yarn!
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redglasscurls

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Re: Fake blood and water pistols - I NEED YOUR HELP!
« Reply #12 on: 19 Jul 2010, 09:48 »

They sell false hair at art/craft stores, for people who make dolls. It's usually super curly, but you could probably get some use out of it
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also, related to burning stuff: a friend threw up on a hot water heater once, the vomit steam burned her face. awesome!

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Re: Fake blood and water pistols - I NEED YOUR HELP!
« Reply #13 on: 19 Jul 2010, 13:19 »

Cherry Jello powder. Not the most realistic thing in the world, but hey, it's white in powder form and turns bright red on contact with water. I can't imagine it staining permanently, since children eat that shit and whatnot.
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Barmymoo

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Re: Fake blood and water pistols - I NEED YOUR HELP!
« Reply #14 on: 19 Jul 2010, 13:22 »

Intriguing, I have never heard of this before but I'll investigate it!

Yarn I hadn't thought of, thanks :) And I'm hunting through craft shops tomorrow so I'll keep my eyes open for false hair. Splendid, thanks guys!
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There's this really handy "other thing" I'm going to write as a footnote to my abstract that I can probably explore these issues in. I think I'll call it my "dissertation."

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Barmymoo

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Re: Fake blood and water pistols - I NEED YOUR HELP!
« Reply #16 on: 26 Jul 2010, 11:25 »

Thanks for all the help on the fake beards and blood, guys! Next question:

I need to find two wheelbarrows. Anyone who is en route between Cambridge and Edinburgh (we can make some detours, but not too far out of the way) who has a wheelbarrow and could lend it to us to be a fake boat (a person sits in it and is wheeled around for a bit), please let me know!
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There's this really handy "other thing" I'm going to write as a footnote to my abstract that I can probably explore these issues in. I think I'll call it my "dissertation."
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