Ijust got a mint specimen in and would like to do an open mouth mount.can someone suggest some ways to do this, natural teeth,or mold with alginate and cast in pour-a cast.thanks...Rick
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I'd say the easiest way to go would be to buy an artifical jaw set. You can get them for just about any animal, and for the time youd have into making one yourself it would be cheaper to get the fake one. You can also get them finished so all you have to do is install and do some sculpting to blend everything together.
You'll have to use silicone rubber to make the mold. The Por-A-Kast won't work with the alginate because of the moisture. I think Van Dyke's used to sell a set of teeth for 'possum but I didn't see any in their current or anyones elses catalogs. I made a mold recently from silicone rubber for a 'possum and cast the jaws from Por-A-Kast. Separate the lower jaw from the skull and remove the tongue. The skin around the teeth and roof of the mouth should be left in for detail. Use paper towels to dry the jaws. Imbed the jaw and skull in high fiber so there is at least 3/8 inch of jaw showing below the teeth. Build a dam with high fiber around the jaws about 1-1/2 inches high (higher if the canine teeth are especially long). You will need to use high fiber to fill in around the upper and lower jaw areas where the back of the throat was. I used 10 ounces of rubber and 1 ounce of accellerator. Let set 24 hours then remove the mold. You will have to use some thixotropic silicone rubber (it's much thicker and will not run and will stick to the mold when cured) to complete the back of the mold so you can pour in the Por-A-Kast. Wash the mold then mix and apply the thixotropic rubber to the back of both the upper and lower mold. It will take anothe 24 hours for this to set. The Por-A-Kast kicks in about 1-1/2 minutes so you have to pour it in quickly (hint: pour the teeth first and squeeze the sides of the molds where the canines are - removes the air bubbles from there) then finish pouring. Wait an hour after the Por-A-Kast turns white then remove the jaw set. Cover the teeth with
liquid eye protector then paint the jaws. Remove the protector and there you have it.
On second thought, 'possums don't look half bad with their mouths closed.
I'll let JOhnC or George tell you about the natural jaw/skull options.
Good luck with the 'possum.
Thank you very much for the help.....Rick