Thursday, July 27, 2017

Stock Train of Sheep for Agistment

A couple of weeks ago I was browsing in a camera shop looking at a top line DJI Phantom 4 drone and of course was approached by a sales assistant. We were discussing the drone when I noticed some tripods and asked if there were any that had a smooth head for panning with a video camera. Of course there was, so I am now the owner of a Manfrotto 290xtra tripod, only $199. It has a very smooth fluid head but has no level indicator so you must be careful how you set it for a long pan, I will get a small bubble level or use the App on my phone.

A week later in JB HiFi I saw a Manfrotto mount for mobile phones for $19.95 so home that came as well.

I now give you a video made with my Samsung Galaxy S7 phone of a stock train climbing towards Wollar loaded with sheep for agistment. Now theoretically loaded stock trains on the layout should be heading downhill towards the cities or the abattoir at Bylong but this one is going the other way.

As my layout time period is set in late 1965 (an earlier proposed mid 1950s alternative not withstanding) I have been told that my back scenes are too green as there was a drought in 1965, of well I am not repainting them. Anyway, the only way for a stock train to be climbing towards Wollar is if the sheep were being moved to better pastures.

I did try my video camera but I wasn't happy with the result, more experimenting needed or a new video camera. I had to remove a bit of noise from the video in my video editing program but I think the result shows promise. I have to work out how to control the auto focus a bit better, camera placement really, note the focus on the water column at Wollar.

Incidentally, I like the idea of playing around with a drone with a high resolution camera but I really can't think of a reasonable reason to get one, that is what to use it for. I suppose shooting video of whales passing on the coast would be pretty cool but it wouldn't do to lose it in the ocean. I saw a video on YouTube of one that was doing something similar when it got confused or the owner lost control because the sun got in his eyes and it ended up in the sea with its camera still running, luckily someone with a boat rescued it for the owner.


Unknown said...

Hi, Ray.

Does the Manfrotto mount for mobile phones suit all types such as a Samsung S8? BTW, the video is impressive, it just means that your level of modelling has to be up to a hi standard as the camera picks up everything that the eye, from 3 feet may not pick up, such as the ladder on the water tank,(I will give you a set of styles to correct that, when next we see each other) LOL. Mate not being picky, just being me, but I love the detail and the work that goes into a layout such as yours, well done.

Ray P said...


Yes, the Manfrotto mobile camera mount is meant for different sizes/models of mobiles. It is compatible with any mobile up to 84 mm or 3.2 inches wide.

See here:

Yes, a camera is a dangerous thing and you can also see the lack of leveling in a couple of the segments of the video.

South Coast Rail said...

A drone for filming Bylong? How high is your ceiling in the garage? May restrict those high shots a little.
Nice video also

Jim said...

Hi Ray,
Bob has a point, you definitely need a drone to follow those trains.
Nice video all the same.

Unknown said...

Hi Ray.

As far as drones are concerned, I have recently purchased, one A DJI Mavic Pro and the reason for the purchase is in the video below. I will be doing similar videos for obvious reasons.

Regards Keiran

Ray P said...


Nice video and I can see your reasons for it. I like the shots of the ground as you are coming down, very useful for scenery. I could probably find a 'reason' to get a drone but I am retired now and on restricted income.


Ray P said...

Bob and James

I have always hated the classic 'helicopter' shots to be found in model railway magazines so no drone shots of the layout for me. I have used the very rare high shot to indicate something particular of course.