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MuffinPunch

Adrian Smith Sandimas Copy With A Twist

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Thirty days and counting before Im back in California with access to a shop and tools again. Ill finally be able to finish up TabarZin and start building Crimson King. I may be a bit on the optimistic side thinking I can actually add more guitar projects to my schedule, but Ive been kicking around the idea of an Iron Maiden tribute guitar for some time now. Maiden has almost exclusively used Strats for the last 10-15 years, so it only made sense to use one for a tribute guitar. Ive always been more of a Jackson guy personally so when I learned that Adrian Smith was getting a signature model of the San Dimas Dinky, it was a no brainer!

Normally I wouldnt resort to building something I could buy in a store, but this one retails for $2,799! Not something I can see myself being able to afford in the near future. And Not something I be willing to add a custom finish to if I did get my hands in one. There are a few intricacies unique to this model which doesnt make modding and refinishing an old pawnshop Strat copy a feasible alternative either. Besides, I have yet to try my hand at making a bolt on with a trem, so this will be good experience if nothing else.

Specs:

Alder body

Bolt on quarter sawn Maple neck and 22 fret fingerboard with compound radius

black dot inlays

25.5" scale length

OFR trem with locking nut

Gotah tuners

all black hardware and screws

Fender single coil neck and middle pickups, DiMarzio Super Distortion hb bridge.

5-way selector switch with master vol and master tone knobs

basically I want to stay true to the original as much as possible. After that it really more of a finishing exercise. I have collected a fair amount of IM artwork to chose from. I want to put to a vote more or less which of my ideas you all prefer. Ultimately I will end up choosing what I like best, but your input could direct me at least to narrow down my choices a bit.

These first two are very subtle variations. A would feature the image underneath the finish. B would feature the image fixed underneath the pick guard. Both would be top routed.

eddieA-B.jpg

These next three variations on B only with different images. Now that I have them posted, Im really not a fan of any of them.

eddieC-E.jpg

These last three are much closer to what I had originally envisioned. The mockups shown above were more or less a feeble attempt at retaining the white finish with the dark pick guard of the original. I almost want to make one of each! These would be rear routed with a transparent pick guard (a la Ibanez Universe swirl finish) showing the detail underneath, possibly slightly smoked, or top routed with the image portion fixed under the pick guard as in the ones above. The image will be printed on canvas then glued on the body before clear. These all feature a light black burst on the edges and a black back.

eddieF-H.jpg

I had also thought about keeping the guitar nearly identical to the original and adding the tributary artwork to the back of the body, but I thought that would be too boring. Let me know what you think, and if you have any other ideas or advice on doing a finish like this, im all ears (eyes)!

Edited by MuffinPunch

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Normally I would scream about a top route... IMHO they are for time saving not tone saving.... BUT Dave used an 81 MIJ Squier w 2 dimarzio Super Ds for years.

My vote is for the full graphic rear route with the clear pickgaurd. As for the graphics I am partial to the killers album (I really like that album) but realize that Bruce is the greatest singer of all time.

I built my tribute guitar ... Red 1982 Destroyer with a 1980 Dimarzio Super D a few years ago and it is like being in the Run to the Hills video. The next tribute for me will be a Black 81 MIJ mod w 2 Dimarzio's

I am assuming the Crimson King build is named after the King in Crimson song?

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B, C, D, and E are just graphic pickguards. That doesn't seem like much effort for a tribute to me.

F, G, and H are full body graphics, which I usually don't care for.

That only leaves A for me.

Also, A is the most generic Eddie, and thus mor able to be applied to the band as a whole rather than to one specific album.

Lastly, I give you my favorite Eddie image:

smiley_edjpg.jpg

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Thanks for your comments so far. I agree about the pick guard graphics not showing much effort. In fact next to the full body graphic ones, I think they look rather lame. I do have a few other ideas bangin around that I didnt have time to post last night. Here they are:

eddieI-K.jpg

eddieL-N.jpg

eddieO-Q.jpg

However much I love the Eddie smily face, I could just get a sticker and slap it on any guitar. That to my doesnt spell tribute too much. I definately think I want to go with the full body graphics now, I just need to decide on which one(s. I think I may make two guitars as well.)

Edited by MuffinPunch

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I give up.... make them all.

However I would lean towards making a replica of the original.

I know!!! Maybe at some point I will build them all. By the way, Id love to see the Destroyer you built. I forgot to clerify the Crimson King thing you asked about. Its actually a bass project I have planned out. You can follow the link on my sig.

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Powerslave always had my favorite artwork, so anything with that on it gets my vote. But I also like P from Brave New Worlds. The subtlety is what makes that one for me.

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I have lurked on this page for over a year but have not posted until now. Anything about Maiden just sucks me in.

I recommend G. The Live After Death album was a compilation of most of their best material and therefore most representative of Maiden. I would suggest scrolling to the right however so that you capture the tombstone with the HP Lovecraft writing.

As long as we are talking about this guitar, does anyone know if Adrian ever got the original back after it was stolen after the concert in Greece?

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I give up.... make them all.

However I would lean towards making a replica of the original.

I know!!! Maybe at some point I will build them all. By the way, Id love to see the Destroyer you built. I forgot to clerify the Crimson King thing you asked about. Its actually a bass project I have planned out. You can follow the link on my sig.

Ahhh... I remember it now.

<hijack>

ummm... not much to look at. Sorry it was not a custom build... but a collection.

I got all the parts except the Dimarzio off eBay over the course of a summer. The Gibralta bridge is the hardest most expensive part to find... I think this one was 100.00 with posts but missing a locking nut. I found a nice set of stainless nuts at ACE. In the end the project was about 300.00.

It is all original equipment but not from the same guitar. This is a cheaper model than Adrian's actual guitar. He had the set neck version which I plan to build in the next year or 2. It sounds like Maiden.

th_destroyer2-1982-0011759.jpg

</hijack>

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I, N, P, Q are my rotating desktops... I just got the trooper tattooed on my calf and I have been a Maiden fan since I first hear them in the very early 80's... any of those would look killer, out of all Eddies I dislike the first one and the ones after Derek Riggs stopped making them, which coincide with the departure of Adrian from the band. So any of them, made by Riggs would be awesome! The only 2 I like after him are the 2 I use as desktops, the clouds is amazing, and the one of the soldier have the essence of Riggs drawings. Ah, and the life after death is a classic too!

Edited by Maiden69

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After some speculation and reviewing of all the mockups ive put together thus far, Ive kinda narrowed it down to Either the Live After Death cover, or Brave New World. I think both could use some scaleing and repositioning before they are going to be ready for printing, but I agree with the coments you guys have made. Thanks for your help guys. I am also going to try my hand at doing some original Maiden artwork featuring Eddie. My training is primarily in automotive surfacing and powersports design, but I think I can pull something decent off. Ill post it when Im done. LAD and BNW still might be better choices, so ill keep those on the filing cabinet for now. Wish me luck!

Edited by MuffinPunch

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N!

Or one of those ones with just the painted pickguards. Lots of tasty options there; you can't go wrong.

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I think "I" would look good, but my favorite is P, my only thing I would change is the pickguard, it might just be the rendering but it kind of covers up the really cool parts of the graphic. I think its kinda useless with a rear route.

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I think "I" would look good, but my favorite is P, my only thing I would change is the pickguard, it might just be the rendering but it kind of covers up the really cool parts of the graphic. I think its kinda useless with a rear route.

Youre right, the pick guard does hide some detail that I wish was more prominent. I stated in an earlier post that the pick guard material would be lightly smoked acrylic. Thats what I was attempting to illustrate, but evidently it would look better with plain 'ol clear acrylic. I will likely end up with a front rout anyway, fixing that part of the image to the back of the pick guard. But its the element of having the pick guard in the original guitar that I want to stay true to, so even if I end up routing it from the back it will be there.

BNW.jpg

Edited by MuffinPunch

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I also thought it might be cool to add some color variation to the Brave New World.

BNWr.jpg

BNWg.jpg

BNWb.jpg

I actually think the original blue looks best. Oh well, it was worth a shot.

Edited by MuffinPunch

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Thanks every one for your votes! The tally puts P at number one with G coming in at second and I in 3rd. I would have put them in that order myself to begin with, so its good to know that either: I have decent taste, or: we all have bad taste together! :D I was actually a bit surprised that L didnt get a single vote. It wasnt my favorite but the mockup turned out really cool looking IMO. Maybe a little on the 'bright blue' side, but still cool, and kind of encompassed more history of the band with the addition of future Eddie and Seventh Son Eddie as the statues. Somewhere Back in Time was an amazing tour!

I still have my original artwork to put together, but time isnt permitting me much progress with that. I can litterally throw together these mockups in a matter of seconds once the first one is done, but creating an entire digital painting takes some time and some planning. If I dont get to that soon or if it turns out crap, I will likely chose to go with P, "Brave New World", and using a clear pick guard rather than a smoked one. Im still thinking of doing 2 guitars simultaniously, in which case I think the other will be a duplicate of the original alternative version of this guitar. The White one with a white pick guard and an ebony fretboard, and maybe slap John's Smiley Eddie sticker on the back somewhere.

JacksonAdrianSmithSanDimasDKEbony.png

If I do that I will definately be front routing both of them, using the same templates obviously. How does acrylic do on a router? Ive never done it before, but I had planned to laser cut the pick guards then bevel the edges on the router table. Thats still a ways away so Ill worry about that when I get there.

Its likely this thread will remain dormant for a couple of months after I conclude the planning. I need to focus my efforts on finishing my other projects. I have a few other designs for future builds I need to get out of my head so I can I sleep at night, but as far as building goes... time will tell if and when I actually get to any of them. Ill be sure to post my ideas up here though as I develop the plans so I can continue getting the expert advise and opinions of you talented folks.

Edited by MuffinPunch

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