Tag Archives: Koen Zwanenburg

After a long night, Santa deserves a break!

Nothing beats a good sit in your favorite chair after a long shift at work. And in this yuletide LEGO build by Koen Zwanenburg, we see the man of the hour, Saint Nicholas himself, taking a break after his most logistically-challenging night of the year. And boy, does he deliver (Koen, that is) when it comes to the use of curved slopes. They’re adeptly used to shape Santa’s beard, boots, and belly, not to mention the dark red seat he sits in. The exposed studs to represent the white fur on the outfit is truly a gift, as is the gold filigree along the edges of the armchair. But my favorite bit has got to be the cute little bows on the packages. I’ve struggled this season to create ribbon in this blocky medium for my own builds, yet Koen achieves it so easily here with wedge plates, cheese slopes, and tiles. And with that, I should probably check and see if the big guy left anything under the tree for me. Fingers crossed it’s a LEGO Minecraft set. Have a very Merry Christmas!

Santa Claus

This is the Jedi starfighter you’re looking for

You don’t have to travel to a galaxy far, far away to see Koen Zwanenburg‘s LEGO build of Obi-Wan Kenobi’s starship from Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. One of the sure things about the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy is the beauty of the spaceships zipping around the galaxy. This take on the Delta-7 Jedi starfighter does the on-screen ship justice. Every angle is present, and the color scheme has just as much pop. I’ve always loved the green accents in the Republic color palette–it really gives the ships something special. Koen captures the different layers of the ship seamlessly. I really can’t stop looking at this build! Of course, this has always been one of my favorite ships from the Star Wars franchise… I can’t wait to see what ship Koen takes on next.

Delta-7 Jedi Starfighter

Hallowe’en has never looked so cuddly

Koen Zwanenburg has added to his collection of plushie-style LEGO builds. Normally I would describe them as adorable, but since these are Hallowe’en themed… Ah, who am I kidding! They’re still cute. Except that clown, though. The last thing anyone needs a cuddly toy of is Pennywise. The consistency of style between all of them is remarkable, even among the less anthropogenic ones such as the pumpkin or spider. I think my favourite is the little devil. Who is yours?

Cuddly Toys: The Halloween Collection

It isn’t just plushies that make Koen such a good builder – have a look through some of his previous work!

This TRON: Legacy tribute deserves a high-score.

A few years back, the lightcycle battle from TRON: Legacy got an official LEGO set. But if that was the 8-bit version, builder Koen Zwanenburg has given it the 16-bit upgrade. Inspired to start with the 4×4 macaroni tile as the sides of the wheels, Koen built the rest of the model to scale with that, resulting in a much larger representation of the film’s iconic vehicles. Koen smartly kept exposed studs visible on the riders for a textural contrast, so that they don’t completely blend in with the similarly colored bikes.

TRON Lightcycle Battle

Miniature Dungeon Master’s Castle is a perfect replica

With new LEGO castle and space sets coming out this year as part of the company’s 90th anniversary celebration, the nostalgia is hitting hard. And Koen Zwanenburg is here for it, with this microscale model inspired by another classic LEGO castle set, 6086 Dungeon Master’s Castle from 1992. This miniature scene taken straight from the box design pays homage to the castle, including a brilliant recreation of the molded green baseplate with rock printing. The yellow-orange color gradient was a common background for many castle sets from this period, and it even turned up in the recent Classic Castle remake of the Forest Hideout. I wonder which Classic Castle set will get the fan treatment next?

Mini Black Knight’s Castle

LEGO Naboo starfighter – An elegant ship from a more civilized age

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.

Naboo Starfighter

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.

Naboo Starfighter

That is one suave bird!

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!

José Carioca

St. Basil’s Cathedral is bursting with colour

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.

St. Basil’s Cathedral

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.

St. Basil’s Cathedral

This little star loves playing with planets

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.

Baby Star

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.

LEGO bust of Nefertiti captures ageless beauty

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

Don’t look a gift varactyl in the mouth.

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.

Jewelled eggs for all occasions

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.

The Jewelled Egg Collection

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.

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!