Just thought I'd share quickly my method of doing a good comfortable headframe not using any plastic mesh. I find that this method makes a flexible, light and durable frame and it's easy to make a moving jaw work. ( Collapse )
Now! The method. Very simple.
First, take a strip of foam. I use the blue stuff pictured, which is very dense but light, and strong but flexible. Then, wrap it around your head so it's snug but comfortable, and then glue the ends together into a ring. Then, move it down so it covers your eyes. Yes, covers them! Then, cut out arch shapes from the part that covers your eyes, leaving a strip over your nose. Make sure you can see clearly!
To complete the 'helmet', add a strip that goes from your forehead to the back of your head, and glue that, making sure at every step that it fits nicely.
Second, the muzzle. Using good old upholstery foam, (the yellow or green stuff) draw out and carve the muzzle, lower jaw, eyeridges and cheeks for your character. After each piece I tack the helmet and pieces together to check for size, shape and scale. A good trick is to make everything a bit big, then shave it down once it's pinned on to make sure it looks right. Remember that furring will add a lot of bulk! To make sure the pieces sit nicely on the helmet, feel free to add rectangles of the blue foam in strategic places such as the cheeks, which will provide a good strong base for you to attatch things to.
At this stage, if you're making a static jaw, simply glue the pieces together and finish the head up by filling in gaps with foam, as shown in the photos.
If you're doing a moving jaw, remove the extra pieces from the helmet and put it on. Using a thinner strip of your helmet foam, pop it under your chin and pull the ends backat an angle, so they touch at about a third of the way along the helmet base... For reference look at the pictures. In this position the strip should move when you open and close your jaw, adjust the position as necessary, and remember that the further you pull the ends back (IE the more acute the angle), the more effective the jaw movement will be. Once the strip is on place, tack on the muzzle, cheeks etc. again and then tack the lower jaw to the strip so it lines up. Some extra foam might be necessary to line it up and make it sit properly. Once it sits, a small amount of elastic can be used to help the jaw close when you relax your own jaw, but don't make it too tight or it'll keep the mouth shut permanently!
Anyway, once that's all done and glued together, you've got a headframe. Go you! :)