Relatively few films can claim the lucrative after-life that is destined for the Harry Potter saga. The fact that the eight-movie cycle concluded last summer will, of course, not deter Warner Bros. from profiting off the franchise for years, perhaps even generations to come. There’s already an entire amusement park – Star Wars didn’t even get that – devoted to that cause, not too mention the scores of licensed products and cross-over promotions that will ensure the brand’s perpetuity. But the theme park aside, which is admittedly kind of cool, we’re guardedly excited about the movie studio’s latest ploy to get Potter-philes to reach back into their savings: a tour of the giant scale model of Hogwarts castle.
As The Daily Mail writes, the model, which was built for the debut film Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and was subsequently used in all following seven films, will be displayed for the first time as the finale to “The Making Of Harry Potter” studio tour at Leavesden Studios in London. Along the three-tour of Potter locales and ephemera, visitors will pass through various sets from the films, including Diagon Alley, Hagrid’s hut, and the Dumbledore’s office, before coming upon the colossal 50-feet wide model. The manically detailed model was built by some 86 artists and craftsman, with over 2,500 fiber optic lights threaded throughout the castle grounds that light, among other places, the vaulted ceiling of the Owlery, the rose window of the Great Hall, and the candle-lit beds in the nursery.
The design of the castle is comprised of architectural elements borrowed from Durham Cathedral and Alnwick Castle, with a plethora of spires and turrets filling out its skyline. Originally constructed for exterior and aerial shots, the model was also digitally scanned for use in CGI-laden scenes, like those featuring flying hippogriffs and an irate Voldemort raining apocalyptic ruin down on the school. According to the film studio, the model represents some of “the extraordinary British artistry, technology and talent that went into making the most successful film series of all time.”