Diorama and Pilot Model Designed and Constructed by Brett Gallant

Names, Logos, Design, and Photographs Owned and Copyright Brett Gallant

HO Scale Twin Mills at Deer Creek (Special Order)

Craftsman Kit Number 105

Available by Special Order

The Twin Mills at Deer Creek has been featured in Model Railroader, Narrow Gauge and Shortline Gazette, Railroad Model Craftsman, and many other fine publications. It can be found on layouts all over the world as a focal point of a prototypical logging operation.

The Twin Mills at Deer Creek has won more major awards than any craftsman kit, ever! Carl Laskey, Mike Engler, Elliot Moore, and Bill Obenauf have each won best of shows at national train shows with their versions of the Twin Mills. (And that's Just the Best of Show award winners!)

Based upon the Pino Grande mill site of the California-Michigan Lumber Company, she represents a mill in her prime, suitable for as wide range of time periods and geographic locations. The Twin Mills is the most detailed sawmill complex ever created, true museum quality. (We do not throw that term around lightly, in fact we have never used it before!) All the details you have come to expect from our kits, prototypically accurate for real operations. Big Logs, big Shays, deep woods action with donkeys, loaders, spar trees, real logging!

The Main Cutting Floor

The main cutting floor with those wicked double blades. The saw carriage is also visible as it readies another log for a pass through the saw. The Twin Mills features a beautifully detailed set of sawmill machinery including a log haul, log deck, double blade circular saw husk, carriage, cutoff saw, live and dead rolls, a brick boiler and mill engine.

Double Entry Mill

In addition to the complete set of sawmill machinery, the Twin Mills includes a generous selection of additional interior details. The log pond is home to many supporting elements including a log pond boat and boat shed, and the dynamite shack. A large boiler house with tons of surrounding junk and clutter is also be included. This is a double entry mill, (one side for floating logs, the other for sinkers) open on several sides for full viewing of the interior. It is large enough to support a real logging railroad. The layout is very flexible and the various components can be rearranged to fit a wide range of spaces.

The Log Unloader

The A frame unloader and platform is home to the large unloading timbers, donkey engine, oil and water tanks, as well as a fully detailed tool shed. A small enclosure protects the donkey and her crew. A massive log brow dampens the force of the falling logs as they splash into the pond.

The Boat House and Dynamite Shack

The boat house is home to the small log pond boat. Detailed inside as well as outside, it is a favorite with its classic “barn” styling and simple shake shingled roof. The small piling with tires protect it from errant logs floating in the pond. The small dynamite shack is avoided by most;  heck would you want to enter the tiny boarded-up structure?

The Burn Area and Slab Bin

Before the government became involved in "saving the environment", many mills disposed of their slab and sawdust waste in this simple manner. A short spur track is used to remove extra sawdust when the mill has been lucky enough to sell it for fuel to the locals. Note the two conveyors carrying the waste to the proper locations.

The Rough Drying Shed

This is a nice rear view of the right side. It is impossible to capture the “feel” if the diorama as a whole in photographs. A sawmill complex is truly the sum of its parts and this kit includes so many details. The various small stacks in this shot are outlets for excessive steam.

The Transfer Table

The left rear includes the transfer table and sorting platform. The large pile of discarded cut “cants” is a great touch and one easily modeled. The comprehensive instructions provides detailed information on how I created this realistic scene.

Twin Mills Overhead View

1. The “old” mill is covered in plain, faded, white siding. It handles the logs that have sunk to the bottom of the pond.

2. The “new” mill is a classic open truss style. This provides plenty of room for the detailed machinery. The saw filers quarters is located on the second floor.

3. The log haul carries the logs into the mill.

4. The front dock is home to general clutter and the log carriage and track. The sunken logs are brought to the surface by the log pond boat then transferred to the carriage. Here they can be stored on the dry rollway or carried directly into the original mill.

5. The dry rollway is constructed of very heavy timbers. Logs are stored here until needed by the original mill.

6. The narrow dock winds it way around the log pond support structures.

7. The dynamite shack is used to store explosives. The windows are all boarded up and most mill employees avoid the area altogether! Surrounded by water, it is the safest location to keep such things.

8. The small boathouse is home to the log pond boat. The boathouse is fully detailed inside and out. The log pond boat is a pontoon style affair with a hand crank winch centered on its small deck.

9. The pond holds the seasons haul of logs, ready and waiting to be cut.

10. The A frame unloader and platform is home to the large unloading timbers, donkey engine, oil and water tanks, as well as a fully detailed tool shed. A small enclosure protects the donkey and her crew.

11.  The massive log brow dampens the force of the falling logs as they splash into the pond.

12.  The log pond dam.

13.  Cut lumber is graded and sorted on the transfer table. A series of moveable cars sort the cut lumber as it is readied for transport to a finish mill.

14.  The rough drying shed is used to store fresh cut lumber.

15.  The sawdust shed is a temporary holding place for the mills waste.

16.  The sawdust is carried over a spindly conveyor only to be dumped over the cement fire wall.

17.  The slab is conveyored up to the slab bin where it is stored until needed to fuel the boilers.

18.  The boiler house is home to a large boiler and mill engine.

The Twin Mills at Deer Creek Special Order

$395 Plus Shipping and Applicable Taxes

* Delivery time on this kit is 60 - 90 days *

The Twin Mills at Deer Creek Special Order Edition Includes:

All of the original castings and machinery plus many new small "clutter" parts

Our famous resin and white metal castings from new molds

The original manual, templates, and laser cut components

styrene, brass wire, brass chain, and weathered rail


The Twin Mills at Deer Creek Special Order Edition Does NOT Include:

Stripwood (supplier listing included)

Corrugated Roofing (supplier listing included)

Wood Doweling (from hardware store)

A comprehensive listing of these materials is included

You are responsible for purchasing these items



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items not available to purchase are sold out.

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All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction or Use Without Express Consent.