- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Marine Corps’ legendary training could not prepare Lt. Col. Scott Yost for this task: posing for hours while a plaster mold of his body was created for the National Museum of the Marine Corps.

“It’s definitely not for someone who is claustrophobic,” said Col. Yost, who has served in the Marine Corps for 26 years. “I thought it would be very interesting. I always enjoy trying new experiences, and I figured this was going to be something that would be really fun.”

Col. Yost’s mold will be among 62 life-size figures on display at the museum, set to open Nov. 13 near the Marine Corps base in Quantico, Va.

The 230,000-square-foot museum will highlight key events and pay tribute to the Marines’ contribution to U.S. history. The figures are intended to make the exhibits more realistic. Installation throughout the museum began this week.

Several steps were involved in the four-hour process in the past few months to create the molds.

First, alginate was poured over the hands and faces of the models, who had to hold the expressions of their characters for about 45 minutes.

“My character was a helicopter pilot in the Korean War,” Col. Yost said. “And at that time, helicopters were dicey at best, so I had to have a look of deep concentration.”

Then the models were posed and their entire bodies were covered in medical gauze and plaster.

“It was as if I had broken every bone in my body,” Col. Yost said.

He hopes to see his figure today.

“I’m very excited,” Col. Yost said. “I think it’s great. Not only do I work at the museum, but now I’m going to have a representation of me living in the museum for as long as it’s around.”

Another model, Gunnery Sgt. Nelson Francisco, said, “I don’t know how I’m going to feel about [seeing my figure].”

He posed grabbing a flagpole while watching a plane land for an exhibit that he thinks will represent the Nicaraguan war.

“My wife didn’t want to believe it,” Sgt. Francisco said. “I still don’t think she believes me. When she sees the museum, she might believe it then.”

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