Measure Twice, Build Hogwarts Once


One of the first things I do on a project like this is set up all my technical drawings and references to scale in 3D space. No sense in starting a model if the different elements aren’t even to the same scale. So when I started this project, sure enough, I was careful to set up all my reference images to scale.

Or so I thought. I just discovered an issue with the vertical scale: it’s around 3-4% too short. I don’t think the issue extends to the horizontal dimensions; I just need to stretch some of the elevations vertically. (The elevations in question are Prisoner of Azkaban drawings; I’m using perspective-corrected photos of blueprints at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in London, so there was always the potential for the vertical scale to be wrong, but I thought I’d already fixed that.)

I know that a few pieces of very useful height data can be found in a drawing in Harry Potter: Page to Screen, which I really should have picked up a long time ago anyway, so I’m off to Barnes & Noble later today. Then I can start the arduous process of figuring out which elements of the model need to be fixed…


11 thoughts on “Measure Twice, Build Hogwarts Once

  1. There’s a useful elevation of the Quad building (from the south) in Harry Potter Film Wizardry, as well. It’s from PoA, I think, but doesn’t include the arch that was later added leading from the Paved Courtyard to the path behind the Great Hall. Pick that up while you’re at it.


      1. Just the lower left corner of it, showing that south facade. MAN, where has this been the past 15 years?? I would kill to get my hands on this. Those scaled elevations are exactly what I’ve been looking for.


    1. Yes, I have that book and that closeup as well. Wish I could get to the studio tour in London! They would make a killing if they published a book of these printed, knowing the fan base it has.


    2. Also, it’s interesting to note that in these drawings of the west facade (facing the clock tower across the chasm), there are ten windows from left to right on each floor; but in later views of the model we can count only eight (four from the southwest tower to the center line determined by the hospital wing bridge above).


      1. Ohh, you are right! That tricky tower had me fooled. What’s your take on the alignment of the windows across floors on each facade? I’ve been looking at it and I think there is a small discrepancy of a few feet between corresponding floors on the north and west ranges, and probably on the south as well.

        Have you found any good resources for the interior faces of the quadrangle? The best reference shots I have are from the later video games, but the films never entered that courtyard although they use the Gloucester cloister for the top level (bewilderingly as both an exterior and an interior at different points). The other difficulty is fitting the Gloucester cloister into the height of that topmost floor. The cloister is 18.5′ high and I can’t see how it would fit on that top floor.


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