Tag Archives: Dan Ko

Untold secrets of parts and pieces lay held between these aging pages...

The word greeble is well-known to any tenured builder. A technique used to add texture and detail to a model, greebling employs parts in interesting and fun ways. Depending on its purpose, adding greeble to a model can help randomize a texture, similar to The LEGO Movie logo, or to add specific detail like the engine pylons and power supplies in the iconic Y-wing. This month, some builders revived a theme from 6 years ago, “Greeble de Mayo.” A challenge for builders to greeble an 8x8x8 area during the month of May has resulted in quite a few great builds. Dan Ko finished the month with this alluring and mystic tome, magical pen, and ink well.

The Book of Greebles

The fountain pen and ink well are both concise models. The pink jewel and harpoon hand give detail to the pen while the inkwell, a round tile inside of a golden dish, is a subtle but crucial partner. A great additional set to the main model!

The Book of Greebles itself is quite detailed. A dragon-headed sword hilt adorns the spine while pearl gold clips and hinges are used to detail the brown binding. Roller skates provide focal points on the top and bottom at the tips of brown, curvy cattle horns. These details frame a magenta dome, accented by matching corner studs on the cover of the book. Textured bricks provide the illusion of pages but the bit of fabric sticking out is the clincher. I’ll be honest, I’m not sure what set that particular cloth comes with or which minifigure it completes. All I know is it makes me think of vellum or some old type of paper, torn and worn, scribbled on by some ancient builder wanting to share their greebly secrets. Ultimately, that level of immersion is what really matters and I have to applaud Dan Ko on his work.

I imagine this model will be enjoyed by fans of Hearthstone, Magic the Gathering, or Dungeons & Dragons. It would make a great prop or token for in-game play, especially with role-playing, so Dungeon Masters with a love for building, keep this in mind! Your players will love them too!

Building a stacked deck

We’ve seen LEGO playing cards before, but I don’t recall ever seeing them built life-size before, like this set by Dan Ko. The cards are very simple as far as the build, but there’s a lot of cleverness going on with the selection of pieces. The Clubs made with two 1×1 round plates and a lever handle are perfect, as is the Jack’s initial made from an umbrella. I don’t recall seeing a lobster on the diamond suit before, but I can roll with it, especially when it’s surrounded by a nifty thin red diamond made of a stretched rubber band.


Dan built them for a contest where he had to use 101 pieces or fewer, and he’s provided this lovely knolled image showing he used precisely 100 pieces.

Blackjack - parts

A tiny dancer pirouettes in silhouette

If you ever thought to yourself while building a Batman LEGO set, these bat-a-rangs are neat and all, but they’re not much use, Dan Ko has a masterclass lesson for you in thinking about a specific part in a whole new way. This miniature ballerina made from just 30 parts, is a stunning example. The bat-a-rang slots perfectly in-between a grill, and the black gear makes an amazing dress. Considering the base makes up more than half of the parts used, the dancer is a true study in minimalist design.

Schwarzer Dresscode

But that’s not all. Dan includes the parts used, so if you are feeling brave, you can attempt to build your own version.

Schwarzer Dresscode - Parts

Fifi the Warrior Princess

Dan Ko had me searching the internet for the reference to their creation for a couple of minutes. I can’t find it so my guess is Fifi the Warrior Princess and Tatsu the Magic Whale are figures of his imagination. Which is troubling because I want more Fifi and Tatsu adventures! Tatsu looks so sweet and friendly with its big eyes and sand green fins made out of surfboards. The mudguard and shoulder pad make for a great face. But the best part has to be the round plate used as a single tooth.

Fifi - The Warrior Princess and the hunt for Tatsu, The Magic Whale

Micro TIE Interceptor

Making a creation in microscale is something I really admire because it’s hard to do. Making one that also looks visually pleasing is even harder. With this tiny TIE Interceptor, Dan Ko proves he is an expert when it comes to making these kinds of LEGO builds. I love when builders manage to use a seemingly single use part in a completely different way. The use of the bottom half of the Darth Vader helmet to create a Star Wars ship is pure gold.

Micro TIE Interceptor

The tiniest Bantha you ever did see

How many pieces does it take to build a great LEGO creation? Not a lot if you’ve got a great imagination and a little bit of skill. This tiny vignette by Dan Ko of a Bantha on the sands of Tatooine consists of only around 20 pieces, but it’s perfect. The brown minifigure hair forms the furry body of the poor Bantha tied up as bait, which is a scene that may look familiar to fans of The Mandalorian. The tauntaun horns stand-in for the pack animal’s giant curved horns and a black wand serves as the hitching post.


“Such a large bounty for such a small package.”

With a new season of Disney’s hit streaming series The Mandalorian scheduled for this fall as well as the impending release of LEGO’s Razor Crest 75292 set, enthusiasm for the fan-favorite bounty hunter and his young green friend is not going anywhere anytime soon. Here in Dan Ko’s build that enthusiasm is scaled down, yet it still retains enough detail and gravitas to make any fan of the show absolutely delighted.

The twin engines are masterfully yet minimally recreated by combining various cylindrical elements with printed round 2 x 2 tiles that add the perfect finishing touch. Dan utilizes another round 2 x 2 printed tile for the escape pod area on the top of the iconic gunship.

Although this model is quite small, it still features the bay door in the back which opens and closes.

Overall the build is a wonderful micro-scaled version of the beloved ship and provides some eye candy for fans eagerly waiting for the return of the series to the small screen this October.