Saturday, October 19, 2013

Weekend Wounds: Making Brains With Rice Krispies

Moulage (moo-lahj) is a French term for the art of applying simulated injuries to victim actors. Moulage adds realism to training exercises, helping CERTs prepare psychologically for the sights they'll see when responding to a disaster scene.

CERTs also help other organizations by moulaging victim actors during their exercises. An example of this was when CERTs from Fairfax County, VA and Montgomery County, MD moulaged victim actors for the Capital Shield exercise in October.

Here, CERT volunteer instructor and moulage queen Susy Ledgerwood shares her technique for creating realistic exposed brain head wounds for your next exercise. (More importantly, you can use it to add extra flair to your zombie makeup for Halloween):

Susy applies moulage to a victim actor before the 2014 Capital Shield exercise.
* White bone wax makeup
* Flesh-tone modeling wax
* Rice Krispies (or the any equivalent puffed rice breakfast cereal)
* Grey wound makeup
* Thick fake blood paste and stage blood

Susy says, "I used loose Rice Krispies. I keep sandwich bags of them in my moulage kit – they can also be put in a pants pocket to simulate "crepitus" associated with a broken hip/pelvis. (When doing a head-to-toe assessment, you’d feel the instability and hear the crunching noise of the broken hip bones.)"

1. Create the exposed fractured skull using white bone wax -- lay two small snakes of wax side by side with a slight opening in the center between them; flatten and blend the outer edges into the forehead/scalp, leaving the center open.

2. Add a thin layer of flesh-tone modeling wax on top of the outer edges of the white wax and blend the outer edges into the forehead/scalp to simulate the skin covering the skull.

3. Combine a few Rice Krispies, a little of the flesh-tone modeling wax, and a little bit of grey makeup color so that the rice krispies stick together and are covered in a greyish film of wax.

4. Insert the Rice Krispie “brains” into the opening of the exposed fractured skull. If possible, push some of it under the white wax so it appears the “brain matter” is under the skull, not on top of it.

5. Apply “thick blood” or “blood paste” around edges of wound and add stage blood dripping from the wound.

Here's what the finished product looks like:

Closeup of the finished head wound. (The yellow tint is from the overhead lights.)

Pretty neat, right? It's not squishy like brains... but then, why are you poking your fingers into exposed brain tissue?

If you're interested in learning how to do moulage, Fairfax County CERT frequently offers classes. Keep an eye out for announcements or check the training calendar at for upcoming classes.

No comments:

Post a Comment

We welcome insightful comments from the community that add value to the conversation. Spam, offensive, harassing, off-topic or inappropriate posts may be deleted.