How to make "Aliens "lips curl back ?

SWS Forum, I want to make an aliens lips curl back and reveal teeth on an aliens head mask. Can you tell me how Stan Winston Studio created the effect for the movie Aliens (1986) ? Could i use hobby cable for rc planes and make a u shape around my aliens teeth. And attach a cable or string tied to where i want to pull the lips open. (basic cable control system) And do i use a balloon latex to make thin lip membranes ? 
Thank You!
Regards, Sean Dalton   


  • edited October 2022
    I think using silicone to compensate for the stretch and bend of the lips would be a great way to get the effect you’re looking for. If you wanted to go for a simple pull method, I’d suggest a rigid material like resin or plastic (really anything would work) and shape it so it glides over the dome of the alien head. Kind of like those articulated figures, but a bit more streamline, and with a pulley system. You’d definitely want to connect the lip to the cable so it pulls back with the mechanism. If you were to go through with the silicone method, you’d probably want to make the sculpt first, mold it and then cast in silicone. It’s a couple extra steps but I feel like both methods would work great. Just my thoughts!

    For a silicone brand I’d recommend smooth-on. Their Ecoflex 30 would be best to what you’re looking for.
  • Thanks Brianna, I will do a test mockup and see what works best. Would smooth-on smooth cast 300 be a good choice to cast the aliens teeth? 
    Regards, Sean 
  • I think that would work, yeah. I would also recommend trying to go for something that's semi-translucent to replicate that crystal appearance of the alien teeth.
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