Mill Road: A Cameo Layout With a Sense of Place. A new ebook by Mike Cougill and OST Publications.

Because one approach doesn’t fit every need.

Because time is precious.

Because a satisfying layout doesn’t come from a formula.

Who Is It For?
This book is for modelers who want more from the craft than the same cookie-cutter solutions seen time and again. It offers a different path: one that encourages you to remember what you love about the railroad, and shows how a tighter focus on those experiences can bring you more joy in the craft.

Designing a satisfying layout is hard. It involves knowledge and skills that are unfamiliar and difficult to grasp. There are also a hundred opinions from people who think their way of doing things is the answer for everyone. With everything that’s involved, the number of decisions and options can seem overwhelming. To make it worse, we’ve been taught to focus on the parts instead of the whole.

All these things make it hard to choose. A lack of clarity often leads to wasting precious time and resources on false starts that don’t satisfy. We’ve all started and abandoned a layout we were convinced was going to be the one. It’s not fun and the fear of making the wrong choice, often leads to analysis paralysis, which can become a convenient hiding place and a crippling barrier to progress.

What’s The Difference?
This book shares a story about connecting with your true love of railroading, those experiences that stirred your heart and inspired you to get involved in the craft. It’s a story of how those experiences can shape and direct your choices, thinking and design for the layout you want.

One Approach Doesn’t Work for Everyone
A truly satisfying layout doesn’t come from a formula. It comes from the heart. You won’t build the same kind of layout I did because your experiences, skills and choices are different from mine. Instead of another rehash of the usual layout design or track planning rules, this book offers open-ended questions and broad based ideas for you to consider and make your own.

This book encourages you to find your own answers and make the choices that are right for you. It’ll feel weird at times only because it involves a framework you’re not used to. I believe though that you’re more than up to the task.

This book is for modelers who are tired of doing the same thing over and over. If you’re looking for fresh ideas and a different approach, this work is for you. If you’re ready to build the layout you want, this book will help you find the way that is right for you.

Mill Road: A Cameo Layout With a Sense oF Place replaces TMC The Modeling Conversation and is available now in the OST Bookstore.

If you’ve purchased a copy of TMC The Modeling Conversation you will automatically receive a copy of Mill Road via email. 



  1. Jeremy Dummler

    Wonderful new book! Loved reading your thoughts, and you put into words many of the things I have been thinking about for my own projects and layout design in general in the “modern” American living space.

    Was wondering if the foam product you used had a particular name? I’ve only ever seen things in 4×8 sheets or 2′ long single pieces, and I would really like to find what you used for my own future projects.

    Keep the thoughts, and the books, and the amazing modeling coming!

  2. mike

    Hi Jeremy,

    I don’t recall the specific brand name of the foam sheets. I found them in the big box stores with the rest of the home insulation products. They’re 3/4″ thick and come shrink wrapped with six precut sheets to a package as I recall. Appreciate the kind words about the book.