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Dunsignalling

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  1. Ditto the Channel Islands, or at least Alderney (AY plus 3 digits, so it looks like a cherished number; Jersey and Guernsey are more obvious). My stepfather had a Rover 214 he bought off a relative who was visiting and had found a car he wanted over here. He wasn't made aware of the need to re-register until he scrapped it.
  2. I was OK with the reversed format (e.g. C 515 CTA) but, the present layout, I can barely carry in my head long enough to write it down. It even takes a few months after changing before I can instantly recall that on my own latest vehicle! I've only had three cars with the current registration format. I generally keep them a long time and I can remember their plates with a moment to think about it. The older formats, I can as quickly recall all but a couple dating back to SYB 642, my first bike at 16! Oddly, it's only bikes I had concurrently with cars that have "gone"..... John
  3. Thanks Mike, The ones I remember coming down from Southampton for Exeter and beyond were often formed in a block train, though not necessarily a very long one (some having been detached at Salisbury, perhaps?), with a shorter string of vans at the front of the next through fitted goods. I'd think even a biggish depot would have an optimum number of vans it wanted to receive at once, purely on the basis of the time and manpower available for unloading. I never saw how many vans continued on beyond Exeter Central but from various conversations, I gained an impression of not more than five or six, if that. I interpreted the block train as consisting of as many vans as were loaded and ready to go in time for the first available Q path, with the remainder following by the next scheduled general working. John
  4. The thing with model photography, though, is that the aim is to approximate the DoF characteristics of prototype photos taken on a 1950s/1960s still camera using prime lenses (on 35mm) with focal lengths of 35, 50, or 90mm (e.g. Leica) but most commonly 45 or 50mm (e.g. Kodak or Agfa). That sets a whole different set of challenges compared with photographing full-sized trains. I came to using prime lenses and wider apertures when stacking through trial and error. My camera is of Micro Four Thirds format, what we called half-frame in film cameras back in the day. Advantages arise from that, enabling me to work with, rather than against the laws of physics; 1. An inherently greater depth of field arising from the smaller sensor. 2. My 25mm lens has an angle field of view equivalent to a full-frame "standard" lens but the DoF characteristics of a cropped image taken on a full-frame wide-angle. 3. All that also means my preferred aperture of f/3.2 is, in truth, more like f/6.3 but still clear of the point where diffraction becomes detectable to the naked eye at my maximum print size (A4). 4. Stacking, in or out of the camera, does the rest, and the G9 does it well enough in-camera (for my purposes) that I don't need to use its Focus Bracketing feature (programmable up to a maximum of 999 frames!) and do the work myself in the computer afterwards. John
  5. Southampton, 2020, Tony, before I got the prime lenses. If anybody else is using a Lumix with the stacking facility, I strongly recommend the Panasonic 25mm f/1.7 lens. I use it widely (usually at f/3.2) when stacking but also stopped down to f/22 (equivalent to f/44 on full frame) for rolling stock pictures. It, like the camera body was made in China, whilst all the other lenses are Japanese. Bargain of the century at just £149. new... Example, and one of my makeshift "studio" attached (that was taken on my other Lumix, an LX100 compact). John
  6. And this one was taken hand-held (despite the instructions advising against it) using the 12-60mm f/2.8-4 Leica kit lens that came with the camera). Success rate on the day was about 40%. The superb Sandford and Banwell. Check out the lettering on the PO wagon far right top vs the platform trolley left foreground. Only jiggery-pokery was to remove a backscene join in Paint. John
  7. There's stacking and stacking. My camera (a Lumix G9) does it on-board in about 90 seconds after taking the shot, and it allows even hand-held shooting if the layout lighting is good enough. I find myself using just a monopod most of the time these days. As with all photography, though, cropping should be minimised and confined to improving composition or making your photo fit the paper it is to be printed on. Using the lens with the correct reach is the way to go. I use primes on my MFT body for layout photos; 15mm Leica, plus 25mm and 42.5mm Lumix, (x2 for full-frame equivalence) all have f/1.7 maximum apertures and, when stacking, I generally shoot at f/3.2. Example attached.
  8. Chucking the lamps out and filling in the holes looks like a solution on the loco, but are they perpetuating the fixed lamp on the tender, too? Are Hornby even still interested in the "modeller" market? I've left my Caprotti pre-order in place, though I've cancelled the rest and will keep my old ones. If it proves too much hassle to get that looking decent, I won't be buying anything else with this feature. John
  9. Me, I've just stopped going anywhere I can't type into the satnav at the first attempt. 😄
  10. That doesn't look like an "enforcement" clamp. More the sort of thing you buy to stop your caravan being nicked.
  11. How many hours/miles have your small prairies run? Bachmann locos are almost uniformly gutless when brand new; they slip like the devil until you get the newness off the wheels. Examples, in addition to the small prairies: are the 2251 and N, all those struggled with 4 coaches out of the box and walk seven now. My WD couldn't manage more than 20 wagons to begin with now and even the 9F only 30. Double that now (probably more but ran out of room). However, achieving such improvements takes running time, and lots of it, Mine got it on automatic circuits round a 32'x12' layout used all day on group open days running about ten minutes of every hour, ten 'til four for whole weekends. My oldest and most used 9F will start 46 on a 1 in 50 gradient, and half of them on a 3' curve at the bottom with no trace of a slip. Difficult if you don't have access to a continuous run to give things a proper running-in for several hours with gradually increasing loads, and a periodic canter to loosen them up. Months shuttling up and down a branch line at a scale 25 mph and they lose the will to live. My rolling road is great for bedding in motion, axles, gears and motor, and those occasional canters, but wheels need track mileage. John
  12. As with a petrol storage depot, surely a bund goes all the way round....
  13. A Robin Williams line from 'Good Morning Vietnam' has just popped into my mind, but that was then and this is now, so I think it had best stay there!. 😇 I thought it was spelled "dyke" anyhow. 😉
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