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  • Location
    Nouvelle-Aquitaine, SW France
  • Interests
    7mm GWR
    P4 LNWR
    HO SNCF & Canadian Pacific
    and anything on 'voie etroite'
  1. This looks like a problem of the nanny state. The SE Finecast website isn't actually selling anything - the 'ordering' information simply tells you to phone or fax (remember those?,) quoting the numbers - so SSL encryption should be perfectly adequate (in fact, pretty unnecessary). So if your browser says it can't talk because it cant get a 'handshake' in TLS, use an older one. Any browser should really give you the option to make your own decisions about such things (and most probably do it you explore their options) but they and we are victims of our lowest common denominator society, which says we must make it easy for the slowest/laziest/most ignorant among us, whatever the inconvenience for the vast majority.
  2. Just revert to XP and Firefox ESR - everything works fine (most of the time!).
  3. Good Lord, you're not praising the poor old DS 10, are you? It's had all sorts of acrimony poured over it in recent years by those who favour fancy, modern, mainly Mashima-or-clones stuff, but it always worked well for me in my EM stud (even if I did 'brew up' a couple from cack-handedness when running in chassis). RIP DS10, DS11 and DS12, gone but not forgotten (although a couple of mine might yet get cannibalized if the Mashima replacements from CCTrans don't eventually measure up - they run extremely sweetly unloaded, but I have not yet incorporated one into anything to test under load).
  4. You can take one of two approaches - Jol will show you how to fit pieces of lead ballast neatly below the floor, or you can follow my approach of relying on the load. In this instance, some hefty white-metal treetrunks should fit the bill nicely - I believe I have some left-over Woodland Scenic ones somewhere from the days when I could afford such things (probably lanuishing in the scenics box marked 'junk'). Of course, this does make the return 'empty' working somewhat difficult, but my lead-folding skills are not up to Jol's ...
  5. Did the birdcage originally come with transfers? Mine was built well over 30 years ago, as an alternative to languishing in the bar each evening when I was on detached duty in the wilds of darkest Gloucestershire, but it doesn't (yet) sport any lettering. I've been waiting to have enough other Eastern Region stuff to justify the HRMS sheet, but if there were meant to be transfers in the box I will launch one of my far-too-frequent searches of the archives, to see if I can turn them up (anything to keep from actually doing any modelling some would say, but if there's a danger it might have a twin sometime soon it will want to look seriously finished and elder-brotherlyish).
  6. We will miss you, but in the circumstances you describe I am sure you are doing the right thing. Sometimes, through no fault of our own, we reach a point where something just has to give, and the ability to recognise that, and do something about it in a rational way, is invaluable. Speaking as someone who failed miserably to respond in a sensible fashion when such a situation hit me, I applaud you. We will miss you, and please hasten back, but not before you feel truly refreshed and ready to reenter the fray. Please also remember that 'fallow' periods can be incredibly productive, and there is nothing the unconscious mind loves more than to ponder favoured matters while its 'higher' counterpart is occupied elsewhere. You may well find the rail networks chaos leads idc to exciting new model developments!
  7. We've been through all this before - feels like a couple of years ago, so it was probably four or five - when no supplier could be found to replenish stocks, the technology had been lost (probably in the same place as Greek Fire) , and modelling as we had known it was about to end ... In the event it gave some people the opportunity to offer 'part' sheets, i.e. scraps and fragments, on a certain well-known auction site, where they sold for the usual ridiculous prices. Then quietly supply was back to 'normal' and we could all calm down again. I'm pleased that I kept my head and resisted the over-priced scraps, because it turns out I've actually got enough sheets to meet my needs for the next decade or so. Still it is good to see that HMRS are not coming over quite so much doom and gloom this time, even if any delay upsets those who've fallen prey to the instant satisfaction culture. I would urge everyone to go for the Methfix variety, though - so much better than the 'press on fall off' version (but they still need to be varnished afterwards, you just have a much better chance of finding them still in situ when you come along with your can of Dullcote).
  8. I'd have one (got the original Airfix kit waiting for it) providing it's P4 compatible. Care to do City of Truro, Rocket and the Railbus at the same time? (Yes, I know there are other options - particularly for the Railbus - but there's no harm asking if someone wants to hand it all to you on a plate!)
  9. Put it on with a brush, it doesn't need to be airbrushed at all (and in fact cleaning the airbrush is a faff after spraying it, so I usually resort to a hairy stick). Just be aware a little goes a very long way, so don't overload the brush - it seems almost like water when applied, and will run almost as much. You can clean the brush afterwards in soap and water but to do it properly you really need to rinse in household ammonia (windo cleaner might work, depends on the variety).
  10. Strictly, that would have been a Crosti 8F, since they were downgraded after the secondary boiler was blanked off, but I understand the allure. I was lucky enough to see one or two working while they were still in full order, and felt instantly attracted to their 'ugly duckling' appearance. I always thought it a shame when they were restricted to conventional steaming and felt that left them more than a little 'lost'. I don't 'do' big engines (or, usually, post-Grouping) but a Crosti build in definitely on my bucket list, with or without the Crownline bits. I'll follow your progress with considerable interest.
  11. Probably like buying a Roller - if you have to ask 'how much?', you can't afford it ...
  12. Just slightly concerned to see some of the items labelled "HO/1:75" - hope they're not getting their 7s and 8s confused because 1:85, while only slightly over size for HO, is seriously underscale for the 4mm gauges (I could probably forgive the missing 1.2 if they're really 1:75)
  13. Back in the dim and distant days when snail mail was the fastest ship in the dock, better suppliers would offer three options for items 'out of stock' - place on backorder, delete from order, or hold order until OoS item was available. I can well see that excessive use of the first option, with the senseless pricing structure now operated by the Postal Service, could soon send some traders to the wall. But it should not be beyond the wit of post-internet man to allow some method of indicating whether you want to wait for 100% availability, or receive those items that are available now and try again for those you didn't get. It's not much harder, with real-time stock level software, to actually make it impossible to order items that aren't in the bin. Of course mistakes always happen from time to time, but I can't help feeling the combination of up-front communication alongside choices for the prospective buyer actually contributes to a sensible business model.
  14. Customs duty and VAT is charged on imported second-hand goods, based on a 'fair market value' (presumably the E-Bay selling price in this case, since that has clearly established the market). Of course, if you have the original sales receipts available (and the kits weren't purchased VAT-free for export) you might be able to argue otherwise ...
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