As a late December evening draws in, 4574 and her crew prepare to set off for home with just a brake van in tow after having delivered a few wagons to South Yard. The cameraman manages to capture the scene with the train almost silhouetted by the solitary lamp that passes for illumination on the platform these days.
Normally I'd post a seasonal message on the St Ruth blog but what with one thing and another I didn't get chance to do the usual pre-Christmas photo session, so you'll have to make do with a postcard from the seedier end of Plymouth instead.
A word or two about the photo. We've had builders in for the past few months so the prospect of deliberately putting fine white dust onto things didn't really appeal this time around, so I decided on a snow-free scene.
The lamp post is new. This was on the etch that I had done last year. You can't see in the photo, but it's one of the Exmouth Junction concrete jobs. The lamp itself is intended to represent one of those 'ESLA' arched reflectors that seem to adorn the lamp posts (or maybe just post?) at Oreston on the Turnchapel branch. 'Represent' is the operative word because it needs to be rather overscale in order to shade the tiny LED inside.
Apart from the lamp, there is a tiny bit of fill-in light from the layout's own lighting system. Even with the LED controller trying to achieve 1/255 of full brightness, the white LED strips were too bright. I got better results by shading some of them during the exposure but I think that the exposure that I finally chose was using just a little bit of blue light. Blue is probably most peoples' idea of how near darkness looks, but it's a bit of a cliche. I took some of the blue saturation away using GIMP to get back to a more neutral overall colour for the scene. Otherwise the photo is unmodified apart from some cropping.
The 45XX has appeared here previously. The Toad was built by MinerChris and painted by yours truly. I expect he'll want it back some time.
Merry Christmas to all. Hope to see some of you at Kendal in January.