Sunday 17 December 2017

Another Mill ForThe Green Mountain Don Janes

The old stone mill finally has some scenery around it which helps it blend into the layout

An Old Mill Finds A New Home

     The old stone mill shown above has been around the green Mtn. Division a long time, one of the first structures to be place on the original layout back in the 1990's.  It's beginnings were not the traditional kit but two lone hydrocal castings  that were used as masters for RTV rubber molds. Once the molds were made I poured several copies of each wall section using hydrocal plaster and set out to cut, fit and fill the castings into many different sections to form the finished mill structure.  
    Let me backup a little and explain.  Many years ago I was in Adams, MA visiting my friend Dick Elwell's Hoosac Valley model railroad.  I was admitting a stone mill on his outstanding layout when I mentioned I would love to build a version of it for my new layout.  He said that he could give me the castings to build the mill and all I had to do was buy the Grandt Line windows that fit the window opening in the castings.  Easy I thought.  Well, not quite.  What Dick really meant (and if you know Dick you will understand) was here are two castings, go buy some RTV rubber, make some molds and pour a bunch of those castings and have at it until your mill is finished.  You see, this is just common practice for Dick to come up with a structure that he wants for his layout.  He builds lots of great kits but you would never recognize them when he is finished.  He just has a talent to create unique structures.
     Anyway, I took the castings home just wondering what to do with them. After all I didn't even know what RTV rubber was and had never made a casting.  After about $100 worth of RTV rubber and plaster I came up with the needed castings and set about to cobble up this mill.  Once the mill was finished I placed it in my old layout and it became a focal point in that area of the layout. 
This is Dick Elwell's mill. It was this structure that inspired me to try to build one for myself.
The outlined are in white shows the original two castings I started with to build the mill
Here is the mill in its new location on the new layout. As you can see it is quite a large structure.
Another view of the mill on it's own little island at the end of the room
This view shows the boiler room end of the mill with its coal supply.  The office on the end was made from a  hydrocal brick section on the bottom and scribed siding on the top.  The stairs and windows are Grandt Line parts
Here we see a B&M switcher spotting a boxcar for loading.  The retaining wall is made from a plaster casting of a stone wall and the fence is from Central Valley.
A Wabash hopper loaded with coal for the mill's boiler house is spotted at the coal unloading pit. From here it will be trucked to the coal pile at the other end of the building.
An overall shot of the mill. The brick section in the middle is a modified DPM plastic building kit. The tall smokestack is from Sylvan Scale Models.
This view from the other end of the mill shows the Bar Mills water tower and coal dump.  The trees in the background are Scenic Express Supertrees.
The brick woodworking shop is a building which was part of South River Model Works "Lamson & Goodson" kit.
    Looking back this was a fun project that provided a unique mill for my layout.  It has yet to be named.  If you take in any layout tours in New England I would bet you will find some variation of these two castings on quite a few layouts. By the way I still have the molds and lots of hydrocal if anyone wants to "have at it".


  1. Hi George...I was just reading some articles on Dick Elwell's Hoosac valley RR layout and stumbled onto this blogspot. I recall seeing this mill on Dick's layout and admiring the scale of it. From some earlier posts by you, you mention that you still have the molds for the original wall sections. Just curious, would you be willing to lend these?

    1. Hi Rommel Don Janes actually has the molds that he made from his kit. I used some of his leftover casting to build my mill. Were are you located as I will mention it to Don. He is away at the moment at Enfield...George Dutka