With the daily advent calendar review chewing up some of my spare time, it took longer than expected to compete this last part of my review series of the 2018 Hogwarts Castle. It had been on my wish list for so long, so it was great to actually be building it. Read on to see how the model is finalised, as I make my way through the last of the four instruction books…
This is the last of a series of four posts, reviewing the huge Hogwarts Castle set from 2018. This was the first time LEGO released a large direct-to-consumer (D2C) Harry Potter themed set. Luckily we’ve seen many since then.
To see the other parts of the review, click here:
- Hogwarts Castle – Part 1
- Hogwarts Castle – Part 2
- Hogwarts Castle – Part 3
- Hogwarts Castle – Part 4 (this post)
This post specifically covers the build based on the fourth and final of the included instruction books. The first two let us build the part of the castle with the Great Hall, its forecourt and the Central Tower. The third book allowed us to build the ground level of the second half of the castle. Now we need to complete the buildings and towers on that part.
I built it all one bag a day, which took 37 days (yes, that’s the number of bags!). That was documented on our Facebook page with daily posts, but this more comprehensive review has taken a lot longer to complete.
As a reminder, this is where we got to having finished instruction book 3.
Let’s start on the final book so we can get to see the completed castle!
The build – Book 4
I had kind of expected to start with a minifigure and a small micro-scale build as we did with book 3, but instead we started on the wing of the section – more specifically with the wall, where it has been written with blood that the Chamber of Secrets had been opened.
Above that, we add Professor Lockhart’s Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom, with pixies on the loose as depicted by a background sticker. Some of all the gear in the classroom looks more like what Madeye Moody had, but neither are actually included in the set as we shall see later on.
Next to the classroom, we then start building a tower room with Professor Umbridge’s office. The colour scheme is of course pink, with white round plates on the wall representing all her decorative plates with cat paintings. The desk and chairs (including one for Harry to sit on when repeatedly writing “I must not tell lies”) are particular well done for such a small scale.
Below you can see that wing completed, after having finished the tower roof.
We then start on the last section – though we first get another small separate micro-scale build to complete: The Whomping Willow. It is a very nice little model, which will look great next to the castle once completed.
The last section progresses quickly, and we get to build more of the stained glass windows for that.
Then we start on the viaduct, connecting this part of the building with the front court of the Great Hall. It attaches at an angle, which I really like, as it breaks up some of the right angles, which you otherwise generally see in LEGO models.
Inside the new section of the building, we now add interior for the Gryffindor Common Room and the library. Both are easy to recognise, the Gryffindor Common Room with the portrait of the Fat Lady as entrance and red furniture, and the library with a bookshelf, study desk and stacks of books on the floor.
We continue to add height to the building, adding another row of stained glass.
We are now on the final stretch, with just the roof of the building and four towers to complete.
And finally, after 37 days, I had completed the last section of the castle! Here you can see that section from the back, with all towers completed, and trees added to the rock sides.
And here is the section seen from the front, noting the viaduct with its slight angle.
Throughout the build, we have been getting minifigures – one per book. The four characters are the Hogwarts founders: Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, Salazar Slytherin and Rowena Ravenclaw. They come with a nice stand, with a tile with their house crest (sticker unfortunately) in front of each character. It is a great addition to the castle and add to the “exclusive” feel of the set.
The figures are really well made, all of them having very detailed printing of both torso and legs/skirts. The torso backs are also printed – as are the back of the skirts, which is very uncommon.
Here you can see Godric Gryffindor and Helga Hufflepuff close up.
And here they are seen from the back. Helga has a dual printed head
Salazar Slytherin and Rowena Ravenclaw have the same high quality in printing. Here you can see them from the front.
And here they are as seen from the back. Similar to Helga, Rowena also has a dual printed head.
We have also been getting a few bags of micro-scale figures throughout the build. There are 24 human characters in total along with five dementors, and a three other unpainted figures that represent chess pieces and the statue of the Hogwarts Architect.
Firstly, we have four named Hogwarts students: Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley and Draco Malfoy. The figures are really small, but with the help of the printing, you can still identify these based on their robes and hair colours (and glasses too for Harry).
Those were the names characters (as per instruction book 1). There are 12 unnamed (or should I say generic) students too, to use throughout the castle. There are three for each of the Hogwarts houses, with these ones for Gryffindor and Slytherin. The one to the left could easily be used as Neville Longbottom.
Here are the students from Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff. The leftmost one could be used as Luna Lovegood and the third from the left maybe as Cho Chang.
We also got six of the Hogwarts staff: Professor Dumbledore, Professor Snape, Professor McGonagall, Professor Lupin, Professor Umbridge, and the caretaker Argus Filch.
Finally, we also have a few bad guys, who can pay a visit – Lord Voldemort and Bellatrix Lestrange.
To help them conquer the castle, they have an army of five dementors, which come on transparent bars (antennas), so they can be positions like they are flying above the castle. Unlike all the other figures, these are unpainted and appeared later on in the 2022 LEGO Harry Potter Advent Calendar too on 8 December.
The completed build
The only thing left now is to combine the two main sections into one big castle. It truly does look impressive!
Measuring 58cm (22”) high, 69cm (27”) wide and 43cm (16”) deep it does take up quite some space! I still have to find a suitable space for it at my place to be honest.
In particular I like all the odd angles that the castle has along with the different towers, wings and viaducts. The small separate micro-scale builds, like the boats, Hagrid’s hut and the dragon on the Central tower roof all add to the charm.
I had heard a lot of positive about this set, and I’m so glad I finally got the chance to build it. It did fully meet my expectations, loving how much detail you can add even when building micro-scale though clever use of different bricks, including the use of the paintbrush as a broom.
While the completed set looks great, you already got that exclusive feel when opening instruction book 1, which gave an intro to Hogwarts and some interesting facts about the characters, the build process and the design team. Below you can get a feel for those pages.
The build experience was also really good, with many cool techniques used, funny use of parts and very few repetitive steps throughout the build.
On the negative, it did come with a lot of stickers. In general, they were not too hard to apply, but I know that is an annoyance for some.
But overall, this a fun set to build and it is Great for display and will be a great additional for older Harry Potter fans. It is probably not well suited for younger kids, at not really made for play.
I’ve started building the 2022 D2C (Direct to Consumers) set – the Hogwarts Express. It is also an awesome set and I will be posting my review of that after Christmas.
Till then, Build the magic!
(Note that while this set was kindly provided by LEGO for review, the views expressed here are my own)