They came on in the same old way, and we defeated them in the same old way.
– Field Marshal Sir Arthur Wellesley – June 1815

Being primarily a War of 1812 reenactor the folks I usually face across the field are the American forces, however, in 2015 I had a chance to visit Europe to join with fellow reenactors around the world to face off against the French at the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. It seemed some of the French were coming to visit us in Canada at Old Fort Erie.

Dawn's Fort

Sneaking Around

I’ll admit it was strange seeing the French tri-colour flying over Old Fort Erie, now in the role of a French captured Spanish fort somewhere on the peninsula. While marching in the army doesn’t offer me much chance to go out and take pictures, like the British army of old, there was still plenty of time to go out and get in some shooting. There were some familiar uniforms and even some familiar faces in different uniforms. While the British line was made up mostly of common 1812 units, we did have an excellent showing of Highlander units that don’t often come out to play.

British Line, French Occupied

Discussions with the Enemy

But unlike the usual scenario that we play out at Fort Erie this time the British are allowed to win and recapture the fort from the French occupiers. It made for a different experience, fighting through the narrow siege works, standing off between the redoubts and inner fort. And finally charging in with a war cry. Then promptly setting my shako on fire with my musket. Overall a fine event, it just would be nice if the other side played along in animating the fort between the action, at least make an effort. But that is something I have little control over.

The Union

On a more technical aspect, I tried out Dilution D of HC-110 for this roll of film. You’re probably thinking don’t you mean Dilution B? I had never seen Dilution D before either and had shot this roll of Tri-X at ASA-250, I was scrolling through the Massive Dev Chart looking for an option. I’ve always been a big fan of HC-110 and Tri-X so I figured this would be no different. Well it was, I found the grain a lot rougher than I expected and a bit muddy. So this clearly isn’t a good choice, which is probably why no one has heard of Dilution D.

All Photos Take at Olde Fort Erie, Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada
Contax IIIa – Zeiss Opton Sonnar 1:1,5 f=50mm – Kodak Tri-X 400 @ ASA-250
Kodak HC-110 Dil. D 9:00 @ 22C


  1. Hello Alex. Have you experimented any more with HC-110 dilution D? I’m interested in this dilution because it allows two 36 exposure rolls of 35mm to be developed simultaneously in a stainless 480mL tank without dipping beneath the 6mL developer minimum per roll and risking incomplete development due to premature exhaustion. Your developing time of 9 minutes at 22C for TRI-X at EI 250 seems very, very long to me and I wonder if this is why your results were not to your liking. What sort of density did your negatives have? If you’ve since had better success with a shorter development time I would be very interested. I think around 7 minutes at 22C would be a lot better starting point for TRI-X exposed at EI 250 and developed in HC-110 dilution D. Any insights you have would be most appreciated. Thanks.

    1. Author

      Sadly I have not tried anything else with Dilution D. I do have something planned in 2019 to go through the ‘Alphabet Soup’ that is HC-110! So stay tuned, it’ll probably happen in March/April.

      1. Excellent! I’m glad to hear you’re planning to do this. I have so far yet to find anybody anywhere that has spent the time (and money on film) to thoroughly test each HC-110 dilution and report with any level of detail their findings with regards to the solvent action, acutance, grain growth, compensating effect, etcetera for each. I definitely look forward to seeing your results if this is the sort of thing you have planned. I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled. Thanks!

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