Diagon Alley progress update

What started as a project to build the Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes shop on Diagon Alley has become a major project. I’m now aiming at recreating a most of Diagon Alley along with Knockturn Alley and a bit of Charing Cross in London. It has progressed well in the last couple of months, so here’s where it is up to.

The plan

When I had completed the Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes joke shop and Flourish & Blotts bookstore, I realised that I could bring them together with my Leaky Cauldron MOC (My Own Creation) to a large Diagon Alley themed display.

So one day, being bored on a plane (business trip), I started to sketch – literally on the back of an envelope, how I could fit most of Diagon Alley onto 3 x 3 baseplates. It is show below, with Diagon Alley on the left bordered on both sides with shops. At the bottom right, you see the Leaky Cauldron where people can enter from the muggle side (Charing Cross in London) though the small backyard. Right in the middle is the narrow Knockturn Alley that links up with Diagon Alley in two places.

My back-of-an-envelope sketch…

I could have gone bigger than 3 x 3, but I wanted a display that is “relatively” easy to transport and set up, compared to the very large Hogwarts display (Blockwarts), which takes 8 hours to setup.

Where are we now?

From the sketch above, I got pretty much the left side covered, with Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes joke shop, Flourish & Blotts bookstore and Florence Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour all done. For now I’m using Ollivanders shop from the 10217 Diagon Alley set. Those shops broadly follow the sequence they have at Harry Potter Studies on London.

The Gringotts bank from Diagon Alley (set 10217) has been replaced by my own design now (as seen below – due to feature in a future blog post when I finish the interior).

Diagon Alley – coming along nicely…

The blue building is what was listed with “equip” in the middle of the sketch (representing the Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment store), though I’ve subsequently decided it will be Potage’s Cauldron shop. As for Gringotts bank, it just need interior to be finished (and a couple of custom stickers). To the right the original Quality Quidditch Supplies shop on the photo has now been replaced by an almost complete MOC.

And then of course, the Leaky Cauldron is all done (and was actually the first thing I completed).

Below is how it all looked when on display in early October 2019. The Quidditch shop was half done the (tan building on the right photo).

The Diagon Alley display as it looked in October 2019.

And what’s next then?

As outlined above, finishing the interior/adding custom stickers and writing blog posts about recently finished buildings are both high on the agenda.

But I also want to finish as much as possible before the next display (which is this coming weekend), so progressing buildings around Knockturn Alley and on the London Street (Charing Cross) side may take priority.

The remaining two baseplates of Charing Cross, going next to the Leaky Cauldron, have seen good progress the last few days with the entrance to an Underground station (the Tube as they call it) bordered by a couple of shops.

As some may notice, I’ve used the London Taxi and phone boot that I previously have published instructions for.

As of yesterday, most buildings have reached roof level, but there are gaps where I ran out of bricks.

The entrance to Knockturn Alley is also taking shape with a narrow (towards Diagon Alley) building being added (to the right in the photo below). I’ll make that the office for the Daily Prophet. The black building in the back is the Dark Arts wizarding shop Borgin and Burke’s from Diagon Alley (set 10217).

The dark Knockturn Alley is starting to take form

I’ll do another 1-2 buildings Knockturn Alley before continuing on the remainder of the planned Diagon Alley buildings.

What else?

Ultimately, by eventually replacing all the buildings from set 10217 (both Borgin and Burke’s and Ollivanders) with my own design, so I can also exhibit all official Diagon Alley models. My latest addition being an almost complete  Diagon Alley Shops (set 4723). I’m now just chasing the 2005 Gringotts Bank (set 4714), and I’ll have all official sets associated with Diagon Alley. 

And then there is a possible Stage Two to the how Diagon Alley display – but I’ll keep that as a surprise for now.

Till next time – Build the Magic!