It will be hard to get an appointment with Donald Trump after Inauguration Day. But if all you want is a selfie with the new president — that might not be so difficult.
Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in Washington, D.C., is working around the clock to sculpt a wax figure of the next president. The museum has been working on sculptures of both Trump and Hillary Clinton over the past few months, but it will be Trump who will join the was figures of the other 44 presidents — and Clinton whose figure will be placed in storage in the museum’s archive.
“There are no barriers, selfie sticks are welcome, and lighting is expertly set for the perfect selfie.”
Trump will be the first president to already have been the subject of a wax figure at Madame Tussauds, according to Therese Alvich, general manager of the D.C. museum.
In 1997, Trump met with wax artists, who took nearly 250 measurements and photographs of the real estate mogul’s head and body for his wax figure for the New York branch of the museum. It was there until 2011, when it was retired from the collection. The new Trump figure will be used for the museum’s presidential gallery in Washington.
The process to create a figure is complex and time-consuming. A team of 20 skilled artists sculpt, mold, and style the wax figure.
The sculptors have anatomical knowledge to ensure every bone, muscle, and tendon is replicated correctly according to the pose, Alvich said. The head is sculpted 2 percent larger than life to allow for wax shrinkage. About 330 pounds of clay is used to sculpt one figure, and it takes six weeks to sculpt a head for a figure in clay before it is molded.
The molding process then takes another 170 hours.
The finished clay body is molded and cast into fiberglass and a 13-piece plaster mold of a dozen sections is made from the clay head. Madame Tussauds’ special mixture of beeswax and Japan wax is heated to 170 degrees and poured into the head mold. The wax cools inside the mold and then the plaster sections are removed to reveal a hollow wax head. Finally, the head and hands are fitted to the fiberglass body, and the completed figure is dressed.
There will be special attention paid to the detail of Trump’s signature hair.
It takes approximately 140 hours to insert the hair on an average wax head — including the eyebrows. Each strand of hair is inserted individually into the wax head by hand, using a forked needle, and it takes about five weeks to complete each head.
“Madame Tussauds uses real hair,” she said. “When the hair insertion is complete, the hair is washed, cut, and styled.”
Trump will be joining the popular wax figures of Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Beyoncé, and a particular new favorite — its first feline, Grumpy Cat.
“Nowhere else can you see, ‘measure up against,’ high-five or even plant a kiss on so many iconic and influential people,” Alvich declared.
In our selfie-obsessed world, those who love or hate Trump will get a chance to see him up close. When looking for the ultimate selfie, museum attendees can fool their friends into thinking they saw the real deal.
“Many consider Madame Tussauds to be the home of the ultimate selfie, and we invite guests to get up close and personal with our interactive figures,” she said. “There are no barriers, selfie sticks are welcome, and lighting is expertly set for the perfect selfie.”