Building an OO scale mill house

Building a mill house.

As mentioned last time, with the layout arrangement decided I can now start on the buildings.

And one of the key buildings is the mill house. This sits on the left hand side and along with the forge and office will be one of the three key points of visual interest.

It will also be the largest structure on the layout so it needs to look right.

For the basic structure, I’ve opted for Wills Kits mill house. Out of the packaging, it’s a collection of plasti-card sheets that are cut to size and to make spaces for the doors and windows. Nothing too difficult and pretty straightforward if you’re familiar with styrene sheets.

I kept to the basic shape as shown on the packaging but made a number of modifications.


Notably, I used additional stone brick plastic-card for the interior walls – as seen in the above photo –  so anyone looking through the windows (this layout will be taken to exhibitions) will see stonework For the same reason, I also wanted to detail on the first floor, so used wood planking styrene for the internal floors.

Lights will illuminate the inside and the wiring was fixed out of sight ⁠— between the ceilings and walls ⁠— with a dab of hot glue.

On the subject of electrics, the waterwheel will also turn ⁠— driven by a slow-revolution DC motor. This will be fixed to the ground floor with the axel protruding out of the right-hand wall for the wheel to be mounted on.

wills kits ct22 kit

Finally, I added ridge beams (see above) and purlin props to support the roof and also add further internal detailing that will be visible through the windows.

With the main structure done, I added a wall running extending from the right-hand side. This will run over the river to hide where the water ends at the edge of the layout. This was just an additional stone and slate plastic-card. A little footbridge was added at the foot of this wall as was a stone wall to support the far end of the waterwheel axle. These little details being based on observations from visiting real mill houses.

Will kit mill house

All told, I’m quite pleased with the end result although it still needs detailed painting and some final touches.

> This post is part of a series on the construction of a lifelike model railway for exhibitions. To read other posts in the series covering its development, track work, scenery and model building making, see building an exhibition model railway.




Founder of ModelRailwayEngineer, Andy Leaning

Andy is a lifelong modeler, writer, and founder of He has been building model railways, dioramas, and miniatures for over 20 years. His passion for model making and railways began when he was a child, building his first layout at the age of seven.
Andy’s particular passion is making scenery and structures in 4mm scale, which he sells commercially. He is particularly interested in modelling the railways of South West England during the late Victorian/early Edwardian era, although he also enjoys making sci-fi and fantasy figures and dioramas. His website has won several awards, and he is a member of MERG (Model Railway Electronics Group) and the 009 Society.
When not making models, Andy lives in Surrey with his wife and teenage son. Other interests include history, science fiction, photography, and programming. Read more about Andy.

Afflliate disclosure:The links on this page may take you to carefully selected businesses, such as Hornby, Amazon, eBay and Scale Model Scenery, where you can purchase the product under affiliate programmes. This means I receive a small commission on any orders placed although the price you pay does not change. You can read my full affiliate policy here. I also sell my my own ready to use, pre-made and painted buildings and terrain features. browse the range.

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