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Martin S-C

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Martin S-C last won the day on May 13 2019

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    Pre-grouping, fictional, small empires.

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  1. Yes its true. Rails of Sheffield were apparently so upset at my complaints in February 2020 about their service over some chaotic refunds of deposits and misunderstandings of their staff that they deleted my online account with them and wiped clean a £105 order for 3x SECR box vans placed last March and... didn't tell me. Amazing way to run a business. I'm sat here stunned having just read the e-mail from Heather, their mail order manager. There's other ways to obtain model trains and I wonder how wise it is for companies to kick business out of the door in this day and age. In the past I have spent £1000s with them, but not any more. Has anyone else encountered their curious salty behaviour?
  2. Damn... and the potential for more groan-button jokes was just getting started.
  3. Just a thought, your DCC set up John is wired, not wireless? I have seen and experienced more problems with wireless DCC systems.
  4. This happens to me and my thinking is that the DDC system simply gets confused by a very large number of instructions over a longish period, particularly if you input many commands in quick succession. Its as though its memory has a finite capacity (which being a computer it must have) and either that gets filled up or data inputs to it get misread. I always find that simply switching it off and restarting it after a few minutes clears the problem - exactly like a memory leak on a PC. My only suggestion to overcome this is to always input instructions in a more measured manner and don't ever rush things. Don't input a command, realise its wrong and hit a rescind or cancel button repeatedly. In short treat the system gently and with respect.
  5. That is starting to look super impressive. I suspect its the foreshortening effect of the lens you've used but the LH curve away from the nearest triangle point looks a tad severe. I trust your workmanship that its not, so blame the camera-not-lying principle. Seeing you beavering away with track-laying makes me thirst for getting the first track laid on my rebuild. What foam trackbed do you use? Previously I laid track direct on the 9mm ply boards and did not notice any problems with noise, so just wondering what's the plus and minus deal with soft trackbed. I apologise for raising again a subject that John Ahern and Cyril Freezer discussed 80 years ago but its still a subject that I haven't fully settled in my own head either way.
  6. The introduction of technology does not mean that it came into common use - or even uncommon use at that time. I recall Roye England's writings of his travels in the White Horse Vale in the 1930s when he observed how much of the farming was still entirely done by the muscles of man and horse with mechanical assistance of any sort being very rare indeed. We've seen a Midland Railway wagon loading photograph using bound hay bales dated 1918. That does not mean that every hay load would be baled at that time. It doesn't suggest any proportion of baled hay loads at all, merely that baled hay existed. The photograph for the education of goods loading staff was necessary in case they encountered baled hay and needed to know how to load it but many of them might never have. We don't know, and that's the problem. I've commented often in this thread about this and I use the same reasoning in my military wargame hobby that mention of something does not mean it was usual, in fact it can mean the opposite; that it was very unusual and thus merited comment. Wargamers like to assert, for example that such-and-such a type of troops or a unit of men could do so-and-so because it gets mentioned at some battle. But writers of those days rarely reference the mundane because their audience knows all about the mundane and familiar and mentioning it would not make an interesting read. So writers tended to highlight the unusual, the brave, the spectacular and other rare and unexpected circumstances to give their written piece - or letter home - more edge. In my wargaming hobby if a single account says that the British Light Brigade of infantry marched very fast and very hard from Lisbon to Talavera in 1809 demonstrating an incredible pace and stamina I make sure that their wargame counterparts specifically cannot do this as a matter of course. It was a unique event famous in British military history but it was famous chiefly because it was unique. You should not have wargame rules that allow British light infantry to use that marching pace all the time. There have been some posts here showing mechanical farm machinery reported in engineering periodicals at a certain date but such articles do not mean the machinery was in use on your average farm at that date. Or even in use at all. There were more horse-delivery-miles than lorry-delivery-miles in London in the 1960s. That fact gives you some idea of how slow the universal spread of mechanisation was.
  7. Sir, by means of this most profound observation you may have just been communally elected to the chairmanship of the Worshipful Guild of 4mm Bale Scalers. It sounds like a most proper and august body that will oversee all forms of 4mm hay bale scratch-building (binding?) and kitbale modifying to the correct dimensions. I am not sure the modelling world is yet ready for RTR (ready to roll) pre-grouping hay bales but we should push our agenda with most assured robustness. However caution is advised, I do not think we need be distracted by the discussion of the merits of P4 vs 00 haybales.
  8. Skytrex do wool bales and I think those are very close. Might need some fine material like flock adding? https://skytrex.com/collections/accessories
  9. I am not sure that would work in terms of traffic flows. Coal out of collieries is a constant flow, or a lot more constant than pit-props in. Quite a few photos of collieries I've seen show massive piles of round timber stacked or literally laying about the place so my feeling is that coal wagons were used solely for coal and always spent half their mileage empty, while pit props (and anything else inwards-colliery related) probably had their own wagons allocated and again would travel half their miles empty because meshing the needs of the traffic volumes and customers would be such a headache. Mr Smiths coal mine, might, say, three or four times a year allocate 50 of his wagons to be sent to some docks or another timber loading facility and bring in a big stock of pit props to be dumped on a spare parcel of land to be used up as and when needed but after that trip or two Mr Smiths coal wagons would return to carrying away his coal. Its a traffic process I wish I knew more about but my gut feeling is that is probably how it worked.
  10. I can easily imagine hand-tied loose "stooks" of hay being stuffed or laid down into wagons and then sheeted.
  11. Its a good thing you're not a rocket scientist. You'd not be able to move.
  12. Great photograph. Now we know for sure that bales (most likely hand-bound, rather than machine-bound) were a thing around the time of the Great War. I'm making an assumption here but presuming this photograph is for loading and securing techniques for railway staff and doesn't show the condition in which a wagon would travel in a train. I would hope that a sheet would be over the bales otherwise there would be a risk of the hay arriving either rained-on, soggy and starting to rot, or burned to nothing by airborne cinders. I say this because my mind always looks at historical evidence in terms of what it means for my modelling hobby and what this photo shows, to my mind, is just another sheeted wagon with a high-humped but anonymous load. The hobby needs more models of sheeted opens. You can justify almost any freight inside them.
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