The LTD that never comes...

The LTD that never comes...

Since we never got that black and gold LTD Iron Cross, I made one to go with my white one. I had an aged vintage black EC-256 already that I rewired the switches and added a Truckster LTD headstock emblem, so I added satin gold Sperzels, a satin gold Tone Pros bridge & tailpiece, brushed gold EMG 57/66, and a plastic cross and vinyl stripe I found on eBay a while back. The cross needed some work to look somewhat authentic. I used a dremel to bevel the edges, then layered a few different metallic spray paints to get the desired color. Unfortunately I broke the bottom piece off in the process but nothing a little glue can't fix lol. I bought the 57/66 set back before the Het Set was available in different colors, otherwise I would've used those. The only thing that really irks me is that the control layout prevents me from putting a pickguard on, but I can live with that. The last pic is the guitar when it was new, 2009 or so. 



Nathan S.

Looks awesome Professor! 

Kjetil (GRIM) Remen

It looking amazing. Nice work

ESP 348

Awesome job!! Thanks for sharing man.


You've made a cool guitar even cooler! 


REALLY good job man !!! Really nice, no matter the knobs configuration does not match, the finish is well done !

What about the back of the guitar ? Have you puched the detail to the engraved "UM73" ? and buckle scratches ?


Thanks. The guitar finish is factory, I only had to refinish the cross. It has the same faux distressing on the back too, so I didnt bother messing with it. 

The last story I read here about the LTD Iron Cross was that Hetfield didnt like the cheap distressing job and killed it, but after seeing the finish on these I always wondered why. For the money, I think they did a great job. They just cheaped out on the electronics and hardware on these models but if I recall, the 256's were only about $399 or so new. I would've even been happy if they just did a regular black and gold version of the Iron Cross without the distressing like they did with the white one, or even just a satin finish. Once the Vulture was announced though I figured their minds are made up and it aint happening. 


I really like your EC-256 Iron Cross, very nicely done. I also tried making an Iron Cross. I made it from an ESP Edwards. It's not reliced of course. Hopefully one day I will get the original though. Here is a photo of mine:


Very nice. Good idea using an edwards. The original is WAY out of my price range haha.


Great job on both guitars!  I kind of did the same thing.  Except with a Gibson instead of an Edwards.


Nice. Like the REAL Uncle Milty, when it was new of course lol. 


Looks great!

If I wanted to do this with no distressed look, what ESP model would I need? An old European Model ESP Eclipse I - CTM ??



That would do it. The older Eclipses have the Les Paul style knob configuration, so you have room for a pickguard. Newer models have three knobs farther forward. I rewired one of them to a pickup selector switch. 

Travis L.

Bread Mods boys! They look great! 

Travis L.



Brilliant jobs fellas.


That 256 looks great!

My mate and I have done this also. Mine is based on the idea that the iron cross was an off the shelf Gibson brand model and existed as new, before Hetfield modified the switch and aged it. I based mine on an epiphone version of that idea. I fitted Gibson grovers to get the keystone tuners, top hat knobs with nickel pointers and an amber switch tip. Both guitars are EMG 81/60 modificed with covers and fake pole screws.



My mate went for full blown original style Uncle Milty using a Japanese Orville as the base. Heavily aged everything, switch added to control cavity, brass nut, strap locks and Sperzel tuners.




Thanks! Great job on yours too!

Joshua W.

Do u have the pickguard deminsions/measurements by chance for snow white iron cross. I need mine replaced

Turtle m.

I know this is an old post but where did you manage to find the headstock emblem. Did you buy one or make one?


About 6-7 years ago, another member of the old message board  removed it from his Truckster and didn’t want it. I offered to buy it from him and he just gave it to me. I spray painted it metallic gold. 

Daniel C.

I know this thread is really old, but I’m in the process of doing this right now to my ec-256, and I just found this thread. Anyway, I’m curious as to what everyone is actually making the cross out of? 

Francisco Jesús C.

Hello all, 

thank you all for this thread, it has been very useful to me.

I am going to receive a chinese version of this and it comes with a yellowish color for the vertical lines  (typical ESP finish I think, horrible) that I am going to repaint with an antique gold color. And I want to ask you about the paint process:

- Did you sand all the body before painting all again with black and gold lines?

- Or did you sand only the vertical lines area before painting them with an aerograph?


While it comes, I have trained with an inexpensive guitar, and the I don't like the finish, because you can break it with the neals, you can see at attached pictures, the lines are something over the finish. I have sanded only the vertical lines, 3 silver painting cover and a matt barnish finish cover at the end.

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