Friday 1 August 2014

Harry Potter and the Ultimate Model

Earlier in the week the wife and I took the kids to the Warner Brothers Studio to tour the Harry Potter exhibition. We had wanted to visit this earlier in the year but we couldn't get tickets for the dates we wanted and had to book three months in advance to schedule this trip in for the start of the school holidays. We all thoroughly enjoyed the day spending over five hours inside the studio seeing some truly amazing props, costumes and sets. But a word of warning, it wasn't a cheap day out. Be prepared to sell a kidney to finance the day, especially if you have children! 

Food and drink are not allowed inside the Studio - although I did see some people with their own drinks - and the only food venue available is horrendously expensive (five hot dogs and a drink each cost over £30). There are also the usual photo opportunities against green screens so you can fly a broomstick or ride in the flying car for instance but the pictures are very expensive and did seem overpriced given that you can take your own pictures in most areas of the tour. I shot a load (what a surprise!) and here's a few just to give you a taste of what it was like. As a gamer and modeller I particularly enjoyed all the concept models on display with one final huge model to take your breath away at the end...

Entering the Great Hall. The set is semi-permanent being used in all ten films

A model of the Great Hall. The clear perspex roof section shows where the roof should be. In the films it was added in a visual effect.

A small scale but highly detailed model of the roof used for visual effects shots

The set of the Potions Lab

Dumbledores Office

Me and the young Padawan by the door to the Chamber of Secrets

A Quiddich game board. 

I get to play Haggrid in this shot! I wonder why?

A sentiment I can only agree with!

The Creature Shop was very interesting with prosthetic s and animatronic's galore 

I'd like one of these mounted on the wall.

 A White card model of Hogsmeade. 

The ultimate model castle! Over thirty feet high and about 50 feet across it was HUGE and incredibly detailed. 

My first thought on seeing this was "you could have one hell of a war-game on this!"

The level of detail is awesome
We had a great day and I think if you are prepared to take your time and really look at the detail and craftsmanship on display you will enjoy it all the more. We spent over five hours in the studio and came out feeling like we had seen everything and 'got our moneys worth' of the tickets. 

Be warned (again) while the entrance fee is high its the peripherals that make this a very expensive day. We spend over £50 in the gift shop but some people were spending over £500...not surprising when a replica wand will set you back £25 and a box of Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans is £9...nine quid for a small bag of jelly beans!! Having said that you have to go to this sort of place with your eye's open and your bank balance healthy. There's little point taking kids along and not expecting to spend a fortune, and at the end of the day we had a really good day out that we will all remember. 


  1. Nice trip lee and you look good on the motor bike. But seriously £30 for 5 hot dogs and 5 drinks. Are they trying to clear the nations debt all in one go! RIP OFF!

  2. We took the Godson in May, and it was great!

    I don't suppose you got any more pictures of that Quidditch game, as it wasn't there when we went...?

    1. That was the only one I took. Its not a proper game, just a prop made by the graphics artists on the films.

  3. That looks amazing Lee, I really must try and go.

  4. A lovely but financially intimidating place!

  5. I took my daughter last year and although I had no interest in Harry Potter I thought it was brilliantly done. The shop was scary though! When I went I was surprised how few children were there and it was mainly young women in their early twenties - grew up with it, I suppose. Great photos!

  6. Great report Lee. I went earlier this year (against my will) and thoroughly enjoyed it! Just need a Lord of the Rings Tour now........

  7. What a great write up! Thank you sir!!

  8. That's a huge castle. Great to see craft like that in the professional arena outside of our humble hobby.

  9. Magic(!). What scale do you reckon that castle might be at the end there?


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