Thoughts from a (girl) Gamer

Tara Voelker's thoughts. A lot about video games, a little about life

How to Make an Adam Syringe (Bioshock Needle Gun)

Tara as a little Sister holding needle gunSo, this past Halloween I decided to make a little sister costume. And although I posted how to make this super quick costume, I never talked about how to make the most awesome piece of it – the Adam Syringe. After a couple emails and comments though, I thought it would be useful to have a how to on this… so here we go!

Now, you have quite a few things to gather together, so let’s start with a list of what you need, and were you’re going to get these items. The list is below, and then I have a picture showing what I’m talking about below so you get an idea what these parts end up being.

First you’re going to need to gather up everything you’re going to need for this project:

  • Antique gas pump – eBay
  • 1 large pipe cap  (same size as the gas pump bottom) – hardware store, mine came from Lowe’s
  • 1 small pipe cape (same size as pump nozzle) – hardware store
  • 1 tall, thin glass jar – grocery store
  • 2 baby bottle nipples that same size as the bottom of your class jar – grocery store, Walmart, etc
  • 1 wooden dowel rod – hardware store
  • 1 can silver spray paint – hardware store
  • 1 can pink spray paint (if needed, depends on your baby bottle nipple cover) -hardware store
  • epoxy – hardware store
  • drill – hardware store
  • 1 bottle Gatorade – grocery store
  • plastic sandwich bag – grocery store

So, let’s break down all of those items become this:

Adam syringe bioshcok needle

Well, like this:

Adam syringe with labeled parts

So let’s get started.


Now, a large portion of the needle gun is already done for you because of the gas pump. So let’s go on from there.

Gas pump body:

  1. Take the large pipe cap you bought and epoxy it onto the bottom of the gas pump, as seen in the picture above. Now that’s done. 🙂

The Needle Tip

  1. Take your dowel rod and sharpen one end. I think my husband used a drimmel tool and shaved it to sharpen it. Don’t go to crazy on the sharpening… Mine was actually a little to sharp and I blunted the end a little bit so it wasn’t a hazard since I was taking it out and about.
  2. Once you’ve sharpened it, spray paint it grey to match your gas pump.
  3. Take your small pipe cap, and drill a hole the size of your dowel rod in it.
  4. Stick the dowel rod through your newly drilled hole, and epoxy the dowel rod into place. I think we had to cut my dowel rod to make it a little shorter before doing this step.
  5. Take your pipe cap-dowel rod combo and epoxy that to the tip of your fuel pump.

It should now look like this:

needle, dowel rod in pipe cap

The Baby Bottle

  1. Take 1 of your bottle nipples, and cut off everything but literally the very bottom.
  2. Take that nipple and paint it grey.
  3. Take your second nipple and paint it pink (if it’s already, mine wasn’t)
  4. Once they are dry, push the pink nipple through the opening of the grey nipple.
  5. Epoxy the nipples to the BOTTOM of your glass jar.

It should now look like this, the larger image has the 2nd grey nipple circled so it’s easy to understand why you pushed the first one through the second one….

nipples on adam syringe

Attaching the bottle to the gas pump

This is where it can get a little tricky. Take the lid off of your bottle. Look at your gas pump top. For us, the gas pump top had a pattern in it.

Your lid has to be very securely fashioned to your pump because it has to 1) support the weight of your bottle 2) allow the bottle to be screwed and unscrewed.  So we did the following.

  1. Observed the pattern on the gas pump.gas pump top
  2. Cut that pattern into the top of the lid. No idea how my husband did this part… cut up bottle top
    Spray paint the lid.
  3. Epoxy the lid onto the gas pump. Be sure that the threads face out so that you can attach your bottle, just like you were putting the lid on the jar.

Now- a word of warning.

If you have a better idea than epoxy, or know how to weld… do that. Because we learned something very important.

Gatorade eats through water proof epoxy if it’s given enough time to do so.  It took like 12 hours.

If you don’t have an alternative solution, you can do what we did after we realized what was happening. We took a plastic sandwich bad and epoxied that to the lid to create a water tight seal to keep the Gatorade and epoxy apart. We also don’t leave it sitting around with Gatorade in it.

Final Steps

  1. Fill your jar with Gatorade.
  2. Screw your jar onto the top, which is now attached to the gas pump.
  3. Be Awesome.

Hope this was helpful!


10 responses to “How to Make an Adam Syringe (Bioshock Needle Gun)

  1. Pingback: My Easy-to-make Little Sister Costume « Thoughts from a (girl) Gamer

  2. Sasuki May 4, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    WHERE did you get a fuel pump? O.o

    • Tara May 8, 2011 at 11:52 am

      I searched “gas nozzle” or “gas pump” on and found that one. A bunch appeared in the search, so you’ll have to sift through to find the right style. I don’t remember the seller’s name or anything, but there were a lot so you shouldn’t have problems finding one.

  3. Sophia Alastair August 3, 2011 at 12:52 am

    I wanna make one, I should tell my mother and father first.

  4. Natalie Alexandra Ruiz August 14, 2011 at 2:19 am

    thanks so much 😀 this year for halloween i’m plainning on being a little sister and this really helped! thanks ^__^

  5. natalie schrievr May 4, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    im planning on being a little sister this year and its so cute because my husband (where 21) is taller than me and hes being a big daddy so i call him mr.b alot lol

  6. kari May 24, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    you could also try different fillers for the adam. red jams and jellys or even a red hair gel type product could be good and you can always water them down if you don’t want them so thick.

  7. Volti April 11, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    Instead of buying Gatorade, or any other commercial red product, simply make your own ADAM.If you have an Asian store nearby, get some Agar-Agar powder (or just order it online). Otherwise, you can use gelatin, but gelatin doesn’t stay gelled as long.

    Just take some water and add the desired amount of red food coloring. The best coloring to use is the food coloring paste used for cake frosting. Any place that sells Wilton products should have it. Next, take a small amount of water, and a very small amount of Agar-Agar powder (1/4 tsp or less), put them in a saucepan and boil them for a few minutes, stirring constantly. Remove it from heat, and stir that mixture into the red liquid and let it sit until it gels.

    Now, here’s why Agar-Agar is better than gelatin. If the final gel is too thick, simply reheat it until it liquifies, add more water, and let it re-gel. If it isn’t thick enough, reheat it and add more of the powder, combine them, and re-gel. Gelatin won’t let you do this.

    I was thinking the ADAM should look like a very thick liquid, not a solid gel, so, that is the final consistency that I was shooting for. You can make it as thick as you would like.

    Another advantage of this method is that the gelled liquid can have flavor added to it, and, if the syringe is designed right, you could actually drink it through the nipple.

  8. elizabeth March 13, 2017 at 2:02 am

    How heavy would it be when completed, if done correctly? Also, could you bring this to, say, a convention?

    • Tara Lynn April 5, 2017 at 2:05 pm

      It’s pretty light, I carried it around a lot of places. I would, however, be sure to blunt the tip as it was pretty sharp.

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