When making the Motorhead Snaggletooth we were well aware that Iron Maiden's Eddie would also make an ideal Beer buddy, especially as the band now had their own Trooper beer on the market. By the time Snaggletooth was on sale and the Iron Maiden management got to see what we could do, we were already getting requests from customers for an Eddie. Eventually a deal was struck and I got on with the sculpt.
I remember seeing Iron Maiden touring their debut album back around 1980 when Paul Di' Anno was the vocalist and even then Eddie had become synonymous with the band and a real icon for the fans. Over the years Eddie morphed into many different versions as Derek Riggs reinvented his creation for each new album, but the version of Eddie which really hit the mark was The Trooper, from the 1983 album of the same name. As this was also the name of their beer, this is the version which we needed to do.
As with all of my sculpts I started with clay and a collection of pictures of various versions of the Trooper at hand for reference. Like the Judge Dredd sculpt, I had to open the mouth a bit more in order to allow the top of a bottle to fit, without losing the character of the piece.
The first version wasn't quite there, looking more like the artwork from the video game than the album cover. On the album the head is tilted forward more, making the whole face look a little longer and showing more of the top of the head. So some serious, but subtle alterations were in order!
As you can see from the two pictures above, it turned out that the alterations were more involved than I had expected pushing the whole project back a bit as I reworked the clay model until I was happy with it. It had always been my intention to use real screwheads in the final master so I bought a few different sizes and made the metal plate on his forehead to fit the screws I had chosen.
The reworked model on the left compared with a cast of my original version on the right, In the end I changed pretty much everything about it! At last we were ready to go.....
More next time. In the meantime we are taking pre-orders and having a prize draw with lots of quality Iron Maiden merch to be won.