Father and Son Duo Builds LEGO Masterpiece for Wenham Museum
Doug and Colin Bowker, a father and son duo, have always bonded over their shared love of LEGO building. They started building together when Colin was a child and soon began “exploring creativity beyond the standard instruction manuals” from the LEGO sets. They even began creating much larger custom builds. Using his experiences from his 3D animation business, Doug can create custom diagrams and blueprints for their designs. Their designs are inspired by Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and Star Wars. Perhaps their biggest accomplishment yet is their depiction of the Battle of Hogwarts model.
In 2014, they entered a version of Emmet’s apartment from The Lego Movie to the Wenham Museum LEGO show in Wenham, Massachusetts. Their build won in the Best in Show category. Shortly after the competition in 2014, Wenham Museum manager Jane Bowers offered Doug and Colin the chance to show a design of their choice in the museum’s It’s a Snap! exhibit in 2016. Doug and Colin spent two years after their 2014 win designing and building their version of the Battle of Hogwarts.
Research for the plan included watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 for a few weeks, pausing at certain scenes to sketch out blueprints. They read Harry Potter: Page to Screen, a book of the memorable moments from the production of the Harry Potter movies, to get better visuals of the sets. Their model of the Hogwarts Castle was completed without the use of any whole Harry Potter LEGO set, although Colin admits they used some distinct pieces from other sets.
Many times, we’d be browsing through the LEGO store and see a set, and [we] wouldn’t really want the actual set, but one particular piece we wanted for our display.
For the body of the castle, they purchased bulk amounts of LEGO bricks on websites like eBay. The completed model features scenes from the movies with fans’ favorite characters, including the Great Hall, the courtyard of the castle, and characters interacting with each other. Luna Lovegood can be seen with a Thestral on one side, and Neville Longbottom sits near the greenhouses holding a fresh mandrake from a pot.
Since the It’s a Snap! exhibit’s end, the Battle of Hogwarts model had been taken out of the museum and returned to the family. However, there was a second chance for those who might not have had the chance to view the spectacular design the first time around. In April 2018, the Bowkers were asked by the Wenham Museum if their Hogwarts Castle display could be the centerpiece of the museum’s upcoming Harry Potter exhibit. It will be on display this October. Jane Bowers said she welcomed back the exhibit to the museum and feels these pieces bring their community together.
A piece like this is a great fit for the Wenham Museum because we are, first and foremost, an educational institution. Harry Potter and LEGO bricks have had an enormous impact on us culturally, so presenting this LEGO Hogwarts [C]astle is us just doing our job.
Since the opening of their designs at the museum, Doug and Colin continue to collaborate on LEGO projects together, whether they are inspired by Harry Potter, the Apollo spacecraft, or the Beatles’ yellow submarine.