Say what you want about the prequel trilogy, but it is hard to deny that the films came with more than a few iconic ships to give the Millenium Falcon some merchandising competition. Koen Zwanenburg was inspired to make a larger version of this ship having acquired a 4×4 Artoo head from a 2017 polybag. The entire ship was built to scale for this larger printed dome. Koen did a masterful job with the sleek lines and the delicate tail section. The engines are made from hollow tipper drums, which allow the thin wings to hold the weight without bending.
And check out this beautiful head-on view, which really shows off the delicate wings with the large engines that present one of the major challenges with building this ship, which Koen handled like a Jedi.
Right out of 1940’s Disney animation comes this LEGO rendition of José Carioca by Koen Zwanenburg. This dapper parrot looks wonderful in brick form and is full of great part uses! The hands use minifigure legs as fingers, elbows, and shoulders. Green cloud plates make up part of the fluffy feathers on his legs. My personal favorites include the stack of shell parts as the lower part of his beak and the white snake part used as wafting smoke! His trusty top hat and umbrella are faithfully recreated here as well!
Koen Zwanenburg has built this incredible recreation of the iconic Russian cathedral. The dark orange with hints of teal are the most prominent colours in the structure, however, it is the spires that really draw in the eye. Each has its own unique colour scheme and design from jagged blocky shapes to smooth flowing textures. Koen has found inventive ways to represent the swirling patterns of the spires as green minifigure arms are even used in one of the peaks.
Round the back of the display, horned tendrils portray more of the complex designs of the spires. After looking at the building for some time, the structure shares some similarities with gingerbread houses, mainly thanks to the white trim and vibrant colours used in this creation.
Look at that little star! They’re so adorable when they’re that age, aren’t they? Esteemed LEGO builder Koen Zwanburg tells us that this little star enjoys playing with planets. Don’t we all? Gosh they start off as a cute little gas cloud then before you know it they’re expanding into a Red Giant consuming the planets around it into a fiery hellish doom, then they implode in on themselves into a cold White Dwarf or whatever. But that’s like…a long time from now. We’ll have plenty of time to admire its cuteness before we are all vaporized into oblivion. In the meantime, check out why we’re so intrigued by this builder’s stuff.
This was built for a great cause called Build to Give. Click the little blue link to see what its all about and maybe build your own star to help out.
Although Koen Zwanengburg may not be as prolific as some builders, he makes up for it in sheer quality and talent, winning TBB’s LEGO Creation of the Year award for 2020 with his 16,000 LEGO brick mask of King Tut, for example. Koen follows up that Egyptian-themed LEGO creation with a depiction of the woman most modern scholars believe was Tutankhamen’s mother, Queen Nefertiti, the wife of the “heretic king” Akhenaten.
Koen has recreated the famous bust of Nefertiti sculpted by Thutmose, discovered in the artist’s ancient workshop in Amarna by German archaeologists in 1912 (and controversially still housed in the Egyptian Museum of Berlin rather than in its home country of Egypt).
See more details of this amazing LEGO sculpture of Nefertiti
When you think of Star Wars, I bet your mind goes first to the Millennium Falcon and X-Wings. But that franchise has brought us just as many beloved weird creatures as it has spaceships. I mean, who doesn’t love a tauntaun? Or a rancor? And my house is full of plush porgs. But one Star Wars creature that doesn’t seem to get enough love is the varactyl, a reptavian creature from the planet Utapau. Koen Zwanenburg is attempting to make up for that with this excellent rendition of Boga, the varactyl mount that helped Obi-Wan chase down General Grievous in Episode III.
Koen began the build inspired by the NINJAGO Jungle Dragon set, and kept modifying until the results looked enough like Obi-Wan’s helpful steed. Personally, I’d never have guessed this model started as anything other than an attempt at a varactyl. The stance is a perfect match for the movie character, and the use of blue and green plant plates does a fantastic job of replicating Boga’s feathered back. In fact, the only varactyl detail that this build lacks is the lizard’s trademark cry. And, really, it’s better for it.
Easter might be over, but fancy, colored eggs aren’t only for this holiday! Back in 2015, we featured Koen Zwanenburg’s original wedding-themed LEGO Fabergé Egg, but now he’s back with more. Named for the most famous creator of exquisitely handcrafted ceramic, gold, and jewel-encrusted eggs, these rare and precious gifts were made for Russian royalty. Each one has a hidden surprise inside, and today they’re worth millions of dollars. Inspired by the design, Koen has graced us with several of his own.
Just like the real deal, they open to reveal a surprise. (All except for the one made with gold radar dishes because the unique design doesn’t allow for it to open.) One egg even opens vertically instead of horizontally! Also like the real thing, these each have a different theme and name. The one below, for example, is called The Sea Egg.
Koen (Swan Dutchman) isn’t the only one who makes LEGO Fabergé eggs. We featured a similar one by Marion Weintraut. But if you’d like to see more of Koen’s fabulous work, check out his opulent, lifesize King Tut mask or his collection of adorable animals that you can build too!
As someone obsessed with animals and animal builds, I’m pleased to share some exciting news! TBB’s 2020 Creation of the Year builder, Koen Zwanenburg, is providing instructions for his collection of cute and cuddly LEGO critters! These cartoon-ish creations are some of my all-time favorite animal builds. Just look at that walrus’ flippers – genius! The size and style lend themselves perfectly to repeating the techniques with all sorts of characters. And now, you can build them and collect them all yourself.
While you’re here, be sure to check out some of Koen’s other builds! In addition to many other completely different creations, he’s also used this technique for both Super Mario and Christmas characters.
If it was tricky enough to put together a shortlist of the best LEGO creations of 2020, but narrowing it down to a single “best model” proved even harder. Every model on the shortlist was excellent, and there was much debate amongst the team. However, after a great deal of discussion, The Brothers Brick is delighted to announce Koen Zwanenburg‘s Tutankhamun Mask as our LEGO Creation of the Year 2020.
Click to see more photos of the LEGO Creation of the Year 2020
Dutch LEGO builder Koen Zwanenburg takes us back to 2002 (well, 1993, really) with this ice cool Mini Ice Planet 2002 diorama. All the great sets from the pivotal early nineties theme is represented here. We have the Blizzard Baron Ice-Sat V, the Deep Freeze Defender and finally Ice Station Odyssey. And just when you thought it couldn’t get any cooler, the whole shebang is built into a cohesive diorama reminiscant of the theme’s box art. It’s cooler than being cool and ice cold indeed! Here’s all the other times we were smitten by all things Ice Planet 2002.
When it comes to LEGO space nostalgia, old Classic Space gets the lion’s share of the love. Now, I’m not saying that Benny and his gang don’t deserve the hype, but I was not even born yet by the time the visor made its debut. And the visored spacepersons had some awesome themes, like Blacktron (I and II), Space Police (I, II, and III, even), and the ever-iconic Ice Planet 2002; occasionally these guys get some love from the community, but not like the Classic Spacers do. But then LEGO started some new visorless themes in the mid-late 1990s, like Insectoids and UFOs. When was the last time you saw a custom creation from one of those themes? Well, Koen Zwanenburg is here to supply that lack, with this superb re-imagining of one of my all-time favorite sets, 6915 Warp Wing Fighter, making the crossover we all imagined when seeing it in 1997: an X-wing fighter from Star Wars.
This ship has it where it counts, from the giant curved hull panels to the transparent neon-greenish yellow canopy and accessories. More tiles and curved slopes give it an updated look, but it is still immediately recognizable as the old ship I loved so much, ever since finding it under the tree one Christmas morning.
Love Koen’s work? So do we here at The Brothers Brick, so check out our archives.
Halloween has barely passed, but holiday themed everything has already arrived in the shops near me. Perhaps the season’s greetings has also prematurely arrived in other spheres as well, such as the LEGO blogosphere! Koen Zwanenburg’s render of a gingerbread LEGO Star Wars dogfight is case in point!
The X-wing starfighter pictured, much like last year’s LEGO employee gift is sweet, but instead of being candy inspired it is the X-wing imagined in the form of gingerbread. The color scheme consists of browns with whites, greys, and some splashes of gum drop and candy cane colors. The TIE fighter on the other hand is a strict snowflake icing and cookie design — no extra sweets for the dark side. Overall, this is a pretty sweet render, and it certainly makes me feel that holiday sense of cheer.