Finishing the Training Grounds Tower (COS-OOTP)

Still not sure how I want to handle the statues on top of the Alnwick Castle structures, so I’m hopping back over to the training grounds tower.

Part of this little corner still needed to be filled in. It’s hard to find good reference for that spot on the miniature, and it does seem to be somewhat different from the real thing at Alnwick. I decided to just do my best (and add the footpath where Hagrid drags the Christmas tree through the snow):

There are a few torches that show up over here in some shots in Chamber of Secrets, but I’ve elected not to include those – their positions aren’t always clear or even consistent from shot to shot, and I’m not sure whether they were ever in the main miniature.

Around the other side of the structure, I’ve accepted the difficult truth that I may never find adequate reference for certain details. I’m using the real structures at Alnwick to fill in the gaps as best I can. Fortunately, some of those real-world details are visible in the background in Sorcerer’s Stone, so I feel justified in including them.

This shorter structure on the right corresponds to Alnwick Castle’s 19th-century chapel, and from what I can see, it seems to have been a pretty exact recreation in the miniature:

Incidentally, see that rectangular depression a ways to the left of the chapel, above the arched recessed windows? In real life, the heraldic symbols of the Percy family are there. In the Hogwarts miniature…I can’t tell. It’s too tall to just be a Hogwarts crest. So I’m just leaving that blank for now. If you’ve got closer images of the miniature here…please send them! I’m always on the hunt for new rare photos or blueprints of the miniature.

In the meantime…here’s the complete training grounds tower, as it existed from Chamber of Secrets through Order of the Phoenix!

Fun fact: In the last render above, we’re sitting on the clock tower courtyard roof. The foreground cylindrical tower on the far right is of course Gryffindor Tower.

You might notice that I’ve removed the Alnwick Castle barbican/gatehouse and adjacent walls. Or rather, I’ve moved them so they don’t exist in my Prisoner of Azkaban model anymore, since that area will be covered up by hills. Don’t worry – those structures still exist in my nascent Sorcerer’s Stone model, and they’ll become part of my Chamber of Secrets model too.


19 thoughts on “Finishing the Training Grounds Tower (COS-OOTP)

  1. Really nice job, it’s so nice to see this tower completed. Shame you couldn’t find the exact detail but I think you’ve come up with a good compromise

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fantastic job! It is probably impossible to recreate it perfectly, or the design team would have to make the plans public. Those renders look very nice. I am still hoping that you will be able to make the model public somehow. Cheers!


  3. Oh my lord. I hope you understand the atomic bomb that you have just created, that blew my head. Now that training grounds doesnt exist an we are limited to the scenes, your shots in the most unusual angles are like gold for me. Congratulations brother, eternally grateful for your constant dedication.


      1. Oh my god I can’t wait, the original tgt is the most frustrating building in all of the castle in my opinion. I can’t wait to see yours!


      2. I only want one thing: it would be possible to put stains on the bricks as result of the rain over the years?


      3. Texturing is an interesting challenge for this project. Part of why the miniature looks so amazing is that every square inch was hand-painted by highly skilled artists, but that of course takes a lot of time. I’ve tried to create a stone brick texture that I can apply to any part of the castle and instantly get something that looks decent, with water stains and miss and slightly bleached upper faces and everything. But it’s definitely not perfect…far from it.

        Bottom line: the only way I know how to improve the rain stains would be to hand-paint them on every structure, one by one, and I think that would simply take too long. 😦


  4. I can actually answer your call for references with something you yourself shared not very long ago, Joe!

    On the model itself, that little recessed area that normally has the Percy heraldry? It simply isn’t there:

    However, because of the fusioning with real life location, we get a direct look in Philosopher’s Stone in the flying lesson scene:

    Even at 4K it’s pretty hard to make out, and they oddly didn’t put in the blend with the model in this scene like every other – it’s pure Alnwick.

    There’s also this piece of concept art from CoS that has the space, but again it’s very indistinct what’s in it:


    1. Isn’t that shot from the first film a hoot? I love the blatantly “wrong” roofline from the real location.

      That production still does indeed appear to lack the recessed area, but it was taken earlier in the construction process and some stuff changed after that. Take a look at this production still from GoF, for instance; there certainly appears to be a recession by that point.

      And it’s harder to see in this one from SS, but it does still seem to be there even then:


      1. Drat! There was me thinking I’d been helpful. Ah well.

        On the plus side, glad to see the tower and training grounds have been coming along so well – I can’t wait to see the PS version!


      2. Slightly good news and bad news – I found a scene where there’s a possible close-up. The bad news is it’s both at night and high speed; when the CoS Whomping Willow scene happens, the car flies past two sides of the tower, turning the corner. It’s dark and it’s fast, and I can’t find any good screengraps, nor can I easily pick out the height. But, if you’ve got any good quality copies of the film or the like, it might be worth picking through frame by frame.


      3. Yeah, it’s pretty tough to make it out in that scene. (Also, fun fact, though it’s not relevant to the spot in question – most of the shots in in that scene are of the SS/PS design of the training grounds tower, not the COS design! No idea why.)


  5. Hi
    if you don’t know how to make a quad here’s what i found on the internet. I did the same with my Hogwarts in Minecraft.

    ps: sorry for my english if something is wrong


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