Adam Syringe

This is another project that I am very happy with. It’s the Adam syringe used by Little Sisters in Bioshock. If you haven’t played the game, here are a couple of shots cribbed from

Little Sister

She's sad.

Adam Syringe

This was the primary reference image I used as I was finding parts and building.

Now, a little credit before we really dig in. While I didn’t use the same methods as him, I did take inspiration for this project from Volpin Props. If I hadn’t been reading his blog, I never would have had the idea to make this thing, and wouldn’t have known that it was based on an antique gas pump. If you’d like to see a slightly different take on this piece, I highly recommend clicking that link. Dude’s a master.

As i said above, the game designers based the prop on an antique gas pump, so my first task to to track one down. This was the single most important part of the project. With the right pump, half the work was already done for me.  And boy, did I get lucky on eBay. Found a near-perfect nozzle for $20, including shipping. Best part is it was already beat-up and dirty, so I didn’t have to do any work weathering it. I was too dumb to take any pictures before I started work, but the following picture is the same model, and in similar condition.

Gas nozzle

Only real problem is the hook is on the wrong side, but that's pretty minor.

At this point, we’re basically a jar and needle shy of the finished product, as you can see below. Nothing is attached in that picture, you can actually see the screwdriver propping up the jar.


Starting to take shape.

For the jar, I started with the funnel-shaped piece connecting it to the nozzle, which is from a door knob. I took the piece to a super-market, and tried to stick it onto the lid of every jar I could find. I finally ended up with a jar of pizza sauce that fit perfectly. The door knob had an antique brass finish, but not antique enough, so I set the thing on fire. Spoiler alert, the following picture is of the finished piece, but I didn’t take enough pictures while I was working, so it’ll have to do.

Jar attachment

You can see a few spots where the fire caused the finish to bubble. Adds character though.

Plan A was to unscrew the top of the nozzle, and connect the bottle with various bits of plumbing stuff, but I I couldn’t get the damn thing apart for the life of me, so I ended up having to hold everything together with JB Weld and a prayer. Hasn’t fallen off yet though, so that’s good.

For the baby bottle nipple, I used (big surprise here) a baby bottle nipple and random plumbing flange that fit both the bottle and the nipple.


Like so many other things on this project, I set the flange on fire to make it look older.

To make the needle I cut the tip off a knitting needle, and proceeded to beat the ever-loving crap out of it. Didn’t get any pictures of that either. To attach the needle I covered the tip of a wooden dowel with Bondo, sprayed it with black Plasti-Dip, and drilled an off-center, needle-sized hole. It was tough, but with a little persistence and help from a rubber mallet I was able to get it into the hole in the end of the nozzle. The idea with the Plasti-Dip was to make it look like a rubber stopper of some sort. That didn’t really come across very well, but it still looks good. I do regret making the hole off-center; I thought it looked good at the time, but in hindsight I wish I had centered it instead of putting it about 2/3 the way down.

Next on the agenda was to extend the handle. For this I wrapped the end in card stock and poured in Bondo. Worked great.

Extending the handle

In case you're wondering, the Bondo extension is held on with more JB Weld.

I wrapped the Bondo in a thin copper sheet.

copper sheet

This picture is just so you can see the copper before it was weathered.

Not that copper sheet though. I accidentally destroyed that one taking the tape off and had to start over. Like the door knob and flange, I aged the copper with fire. I repeatedly heated it over a gas stove and ran water over it. For the end cap I used the bottom half of a Super-Mario mushroom candy container. This was weathered with heat too, but this time on accident. The end cap was a very tight fit, so I tried to expand the metal a little bit by heating it with a heat gun. Didn’t work at all, but it did cause the paint residue that I hadn’t sanded all the way off to burn, which in turn made it look awesome.

End Cap

I got the end-cap on with the liberal application of a rubber mallet.

The last major component missing at this point was the Adam. I found a thin pink slime at the Dollar Tree. With some red food coloring it looked fantastic. Some black washes and blood-red paint later I had a finished Adam Syringe.

For the blood I used Tamiya brand clear red (X-27) mixed with a black enamel that I had lying around. I painted it on the needle, but for most of the body I just covered my hands in the paint and handled the prop like I imaged a little sister might.

(fake) Bloody Hands

True Story.

To wrap things up, I’ll toss some pictures of the finished prop your way.

Adam Syringe

Figured I'd give you a quick reminder of how it's supposed to look.

All done

The finished project


Blood on the shaft


I really like how the Adam looks in this shot.


I might have gone overboard with the blood on the needle.

Little Sister

Tiny Little Sister, or giant Adam Syringe? You decide!


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