I recently created a MOC (My Own Creation) of Iron Maiden’s mascot Eddie in his “Trooper” incarnation and it got me thinking of other things I could create. This article will look at different versions of Eddie; but also, some of the more interesting masks and mascots that are used in the music industry and how to create their LEGO version.
Iron Maiden and Eddie
The music magazine Kerrang ran an article recently ranking Heavy Metal mascots. In first place, perhaps unsurprisingly, was Motorhead’s Snaggletooth, but in second place was Iron Maiden’s Eddie. Given that in both cases licenses have been granted to all manner of things and not just T-shirts, but beer etc. I guess it’s not a surprise.
Just in case you have never heard of Iron Maiden, they are a Heavy Metal music band that started in the mid-1970s. In the 1980s they stormed forward into popular acceptance where they have remained pretty much ever since. Eddie was originally a backdrop prop. Eddie’s name was derived from ‘Head’, and being a London band this would most commonly be said as ‘ed). Most of the artwork for Iron Maiden’s albums were created by the artist Derek Riggs.
So here are a few incarnations that I have made, and the reasons why they are the way they are.
The “Killers” album was the second album, released in 1981, a year after the album “Iron Maiden”. Musically, this was more Heavy Metal than punk. In this iteration, Eddie has more bushy hair (the hair was more spiked in the first), this style also stayed for the third album “Number of the Beast” released in 1982 (and was the first Iron Maiden album I’d listened to). I decided to use jeans and jacket from the biker figure, having created this hybrid version. The background of my image was added digitally, and filters applied using Picsart.
Piece of Mind
“Piece of Mind” was released in 1983, and Eddie had changed his look to the more zombie-fied version that is probably well known (it was only when I was getting the source material for this article that I discovered he hadn’t always been this way!). The LEGO head, by the way, is from Ninjago – who knew the LEGO designers must have been Iron Maiden fans!
I’m sure that if I had time and the inclination I could have looked to try and create clothing, but I think this is a fair recreation.
Powerslave was released in 1984. I decided to just create the Pharaoh version of Eddie this time and not the impressive pyramid structure behind. Fun trivia facts about the album cover is that it includes the phrase “Indiana Jones was here” and it also includes Mickey Mouse in the hieroglyphics! For me, this album contained so many great tracks; Aces High, Powerslave, 2 Minutes to Midnight and the thirteen-minute classic, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.
Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
Skipping over “Somewhere in Time”, “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son” was of course Iron Maiden’s seventh studio album. Released in 1988, this contained the crowd-pleaser “Can I Play with Madness?”
For this image, I obviously had to edit it a bit. I decided again to use the skeleton; whilst I do have a Dr Anatomini it didn’t quite work. I noted the flames above Eddie’s head, hence the Ghost rider flame skull. Additionally, I couldn’t quite work out what Eddie was holding (apparently, it’s a baby and an apple!), so my guess in using a LEGO apple was closer than I had thought!
The Trooper was a single released in 1983 and features on side 2 (track 5) of the “Piece of Mind” album. Although Iron Maiden’s imagery (and that of Eddie) has changed over the years depending on the music, the military elements always seem to be more popular.
To create the Trooper, I used the Royal Guard figure from CMF series 5 , a custom cutlass , a brown backpack from my own collection and a flag from Firestartoys. In hindsight, I could have used the torso from the soldiers in the pirate theme but I thought this worked quite well.
Aces High was released as a single in 1984 and is the first track on the album “Powerslave”.
This was probably the easiest of the Eddie’s to create, mainly as LEGO had already released a Pilot as part of CMF Series 3, so it was just a matter of swapping the heads, finding some LEGO parts and editing the clouds and plane in the background.
Whilst I was creating the various Eddies for this article, I realised that whilst Eddie was a prop figure for the band, there were a huge number of bands that wore masks as part of their stage persona. A good example of that would be Slipknot; perhaps that’s something I might have a go at for another article.
But in the same way that Eddie is (and forever will be) linked with Iron Maiden, I realised that for some DJs just the mask (or rather the huge headpiece) will be part of the imagery. So here are four DJs that I think I’ve managed to LEGOfy (if that’s a word).
Possibly the easiest DJ to start with is the artist Savant. His real name is Aleksander Vinter and hails from Oslo, Norway. He has been active since about 2007 and has released material under a number of names, but Savant is probably his most well-known alias.
Favouring the V for Vendetta mask, this was an easy figure to reproduce, especially as I had a V for Vendetta mask that had been printed by Crazy Bricks a while back.
DJs from Mars
The next DJ is a partnership of the two producers Luca Emanuele and Massimiliano Garina. Both are from Italy. Although they worked as independent producers, in 2003 they joined forces to become “DJs from Mars”. Now famous for turning popular songs into dance classics, their YouTube videos have now reached over 70,000 views. When performing their DJ duties, their attire is to use cardboard box heads.
I created these figures quite quickly, using tan bricks and plates. I had to drill out the 2×2 plates that form the bottom of the cardboard head so they would not have extra long necks. The faces were drawn on using Sharpies. The next step would really be to get some brown paper and make the cardboard box heads “for real”.
No list of “DJs that wear masks” would be complete without including Deadmau5 in it! The artist Joel Zimmerman started uploading his music back in 2002. The name came from him discovering a dead mouse in his computer when it stopped working. As we saw earlier with Eddie (and as we also briefly mentioned, Motorhead’s Snaggletooth) the Mau5head (to give its correct name) was developed by Zimmerman as he learned 3d modelling. Unsurprisingly, Disney sought to stop the use of the head given its close similarity to that other famous mouse; fortunately, they seemed to have sorted things out.
My version of the Mau5head was bought as a 3D printed head from Shapeways. Until I wrote this article, he stood over the turntable and decks you see behind him (all tiles bought from FireStarToys) until I finally brought my last DJ to the party…
Relatively new, but hugely successful, Marshmello first started to publish his music to his Soundcloud mix in 2015. Many other DJs started to share his music and in 2016 he released his first album. Performing with a white bucket on his head, he was identified as Christopher Comstock because people recognised that the musical style of Marshmello was very close to Dotcom (Christopher’s other identity).
Obviously, reproducing a white bucket mast was relatively easy in regard to LEGO; the simple crossed-out eyes and smile being drawn on with a fine tip Sharpie. As with the DJs from Mars cardboard head, If I had just left “as is” it would have created a neck gap; so I filled it in by using a 2×2 skid plate and drilling a hole through the centre. The torso and trousers are from CMF series 17 Yuppie.
And the Beat goes on!
I realise that (musically at least) I’m a child of the 1980s and during that time there was plenty of innovative and interesting album art and stage personas; perhaps I may visit some of these and try to recreate these figures in LEGO.
But music moves on and album art, set design and stage appearances have all moved with the times too, so hopefully you may want to listen to some of these artists if you haven’t heard of them before.
I hope you enjoyed this article; let me know what you think in the comments!
- Information about Iron Maiden: ironmaiden.com (official website)
- Album covers for “Aces High” and “The Trooper” from Wikipedia.com
- Images of DJs from https://smileradio.net/en/other-news/top-13-coolest-dj-masks; image for Marshmello from Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marshmello)
- Additional information about the DJs from Wikipedia.