Thursday, July 4, 2013

30 Mauzy Ice

The ATSG Railroad blog has been seriously neglected.  There have been many developments on the railroad since the last post.  Fortunately the railroad itself has not been as neglected as the blog.  The author kept waiting to catch up before posting the most recent material but then ended up posting nothing.  So, with this post, the blog will try to at least stay current and then, as time allows, go back to post information on previous developments.

For the past several months the author has  been trying to finish the Ascape section of the railroad.  It started with the creation of (to be named canyon) which completes the mountain over the helix.  This was followed by the development of Echo Canyon which is behind Ascape. The next goal was to finish the landscape, ballast, and details of the Ascape engine terminal and yard.   This is all by way of background information for the current post.  Later posts will describe these developments.

Mauzy Ice

The Albuquerque NMRA Rocky Mountain Regional Convention included some inspiring model work by some outstanding modelers.  It inspired the president of the ATSG Railroad to revisit and improve his skills in model building.

Mauzy Ice

At far end of the Ascape yard is a vacant lot where Burgess Beef Packing Plant will be located. Behind the packing plant is an ice track where refers can be iced before being loaded with processed beef from the packing plant. Ascape is a very small town in the 1930's. The buildings are old and somewhat rundown. Somehow the modern ice platform that had been previously constructed did not fit the location.  A search of the Internet revealed a wonderful model of a small old ice house that seemed just right for the location.  The On3 model was designed and constructed by Troels Kirk (  You can see some wonderful pictures of this model at

Mauzy Ice
Our model of Mauzy Ice is shown in the photographs.  The building and sheds were constructed from board-and-batten polystyrene. The loading docks and ice platform were constructed from strip wood.  The doors and windows are from Tichy.  The structure was named for Chris Mauzy, a member of the Color Country Model Railroad Club, who is a frequent operator on the ATSG Railroad.

The photographs were taken using an 8 mb Sharp digital camera.  Lighting was from compact fluorescent spotlights both in the track above the railroad and in two auxiliary spot lights lighting the model. Settings were aperture = f8, color = real, white balance = fluorescent.  I took  4 or 5 exposures of each view each with a different focal length from just in front of the model to just behind the model. These different focal length exposures are then combined using Helicon Focus software. The photograph was color corrected using Adobe Photoshop Elements.   A clinic at the Albuquerque Conference introduced the Helicon Focus product.  It really solves the depth-of-field problem so common in model photography.  (See,

Saturday, April 13, 2013

29 Sage Junction

The roadbed against the back wall is very narrow.   This junction will eventually connect to the branch line to Tennsion (a story yet to come). We needed a way to extend the depth and create some activity at Sage Junction.  I had a photograph mural created for a former version of the ATSG Railroad.  I felt that it might work in this location.  There is only 3 inches between the track and the backdrop.

Sage Junction with only backdrop photograph in place

A small station and a water tank were installed behind the track.  There is a small parking lot behind at the left of the station.  The road from the parking lot goes behind the station and seems to extend into the backdrop.  The scenery in front of the photograph was constructed to match the backdrop photo.
Sage Junction 
The water tank is a Campbell kit and the station was another kit from an unremembered manufacturer.  Figures, a woody station wagon, and other platform details were added to complete the scene.  The terrain in the foreground fills the space between the lower main line and the upper line at Sage.  Can you tell that our engineer is fascinated by rock retaining walls and roadbed support?

The photographer for the ATSG is getting better.  He discovered Helicon focus.  Several photographs are taken at different focal lengths focusing from the furthest element of the picture to just in front of the nearest element. The photographs are then combined via Helicon focus to produce a picture that is in sharp focus at every distance.  The scene was lit by two lights plus the overhead light.  The color is by setting the camera on real.  The aperture is set to the smallest opening, only F8 on my camera.  The focal length is 50 mm without any zoom.

Updated June 10, 2014