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Building a bone prosthetic jaw on the cheap?

Hi. I'm working on a very low-budget short, and I'm looking to build a dementor/wraith type headpiece, which will look like an animal skull for the most part.. The top half will be more like a mask, but the idea is to build the bottom jaw as a prosthetic that can be attached the to the chin/jaw, so that there can be some movement of the mouth. 
Like I said, the budget is low & it's a very short short... We're thinking of sculpting the jaw piece out of a super light weight craft clay like Active Hearty Clay, or something similar.. it's cheap, air dries, and is super light.. then building a latex prosthetic to fit and adhere that piece into. I feel confident that the clay can work.. it's sandable, and can easily be sealed/painted to get the desired effect.. but are there any other ways that you think might make more sense? And the latex should bond easily too it as well. Thinking we can do some skin with latex and tissue..

Considering building the top mask/headpiece from the same material.. Ideally I would likely sculpt, mold, and cast it in a resin or something similar.. but the price is just too high for this project. Any thoughts or suggestions would be great. Thanks so much! Here's an image of what we're going for.. The tongue will likely have to be abandoned, realistically. 


  • Chris EllerbyChris Ellerby Los Angeles Admin
    For that character design I might go more of a mask route for the jaw, vs. makeup appliance.  Since getting a larger jaw like that to work as a makeup might require materials outside your budget.  (latex is not a very strong adhesive)

    You could use some thermoform plastic to make a chin cup to attach the jaw to (using epoxy or other means) and then attach a strap to that which wraps around the back of the performer's head.

  • That's a great suggestion.. Thanks!

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