Finishing the Bell Towers – “Azkaban” AND Original Versions!

Here we go – those bell towers need to be completed. I finished the intricate openings and decorative motifs in the middle parts of the towers. Fortunately, these never changed in any of the films, even when the tops of the towers changed, so I only had to create them this once!

Then, to complete the bell towers, I added the tops of the towers, which are very similar to the top of the central tower – just shrunk by about 23%, and with a few minor design differences. I was grateful for this not only because it allowed me to reuse elements from the central tower, but also because I discovered a mistake in the central tower in the process. All fixed now!

Of course, there are two versions of the bell towers: the original design, and this Prisoner of Azkaban redesign. With the latter complete, I decided to switch over and do the former as well!

Sadly, photogrammetry is no help when it comes to the original tops of the bell towers, but their simple design is pretty easy to eyeball. A few of the smallest details were educated guesses – for instance, I’ve added windowpanes in a few areas that could just be openings.

Anyway, enough talk – let’s compare the two designs! Drag the slider below to compare the original Sorcerer’s Stone design (left) to the Prisoner of Azkaban redesign (right). (The smaller tower above the Long Gallery will also come and go, since that was added in Chamber of Secrets.)

Here’s a reverse angle:

Surprise – there’s the original design of the central tower, too! I snuck that in there as well.

Viewing the whole castle from lake level, you can really see what a difference this simple redesign of these three towers made in the castle’s overall silhouette and character. My model is also looking a lot more complete overall!

Adding the wall between the bell towers was easy, since all of its elements are similar to stuff I’ve already created. I briefly considered tackling the greenhouses next, but then I got distracted by the adjacent walls that bring us to the training grounds tower and the middle courtyard, which will probably be where I go in our next blog post.

In the meantime, Ms. Rowling continues to tweet disappointingly misguided things about transgender people. For what it’s worth – if you, dear reader, happen to be trans, non-binary, or a member of any other oft-marginalized community, know that this Hogwarts (incomplete though it may be) will always be there to welcome your awesome self, and so will I.


11 thoughts on “Finishing the Bell Towers – “Azkaban” AND Original Versions!

  1. Only discovered this project a few weeks ago but have loved every update since then!
    Those sliders to see the changes Hogwarts undergoes are just too good! keep it up


    1. Ooooh, great great find! Thank you for sharing this with me. I’m going to enjoy going through this…might inform some tweaks to my extremely rudimentary bell tower interiors!


  2. How will you do the training grounds tower? (COS version) since there’s this hole of which you can briefly see the top during the dragon chase in GOF,
    but which to my knowledge doesn’t have any photos/footage of the bottom.


    1. That part of the training grounds tower will be tough…realistically, unless I find some miraculous overhead production photos, I’ll probably just be creating blank walls there. I’m dreading that. I could create my own design for whatever windows, doors, and decorative elements are in there, using Alnwick as a jumping-off point, but that doesn’t really fit my project’s aims.

      Of course, I’m always on the hunt for rare production photos, so maybe I’ll find something useful – and of course, I welcome other people’s finds!


      1. I was under the impression that the COS training grounds tower was just Alnwick castle but… taller…


      2. The SS and COS-through-HBP versions both use the same footprint, and that footprint is adapted only slightly from that of Alnwick Castle. They’re both significantly taller than Alnwick, but they didn’t just move the roofline higher – they actually changed the roofs altogether in each version. So…yes, and no. 😛


  3. I love how you throw a curveball and put sliders…..

    All jokes aside; great work and it really neatly shows the difference between the 2 seperate versions of the castle…
    For us Minecraft builders wanting to build the different versions, it shows exactly which parts we can re-use, so Kudos for enabling that 🙂


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