thanks for the trouble of a reply.
the negs may have been underexposed by about a stop and a half. I figured prolonged development would take care of that. Taking the pictures, I did what I had to do in terms of the weather and the moving ships. I was shooting with a 600 f9 Nikkor in foggy overcast at 1/125 f16. At least I have sharp negs to work with.
I am using the formulary mix so the proportions are right. My times for tri-x in sunlight at ei 160 is 6 min which is close to yours. the solutions were mixed about 2 weeks ago.
I'm beginning to think the problem is that there was nothing to expand in the scene. The 24 min negs have more film base + fog, but not much denser highlights. Heavy fog, overcast, with dark gray ships, painted to be hard to see. (given the weather, you'd think they'd paint them bright orange for the occasion!.
I have very little experience shooting "distant" subjects in the fog. thinking back every time I've gotten good expansion, it was a dull day but a closeup subject.
I'll do a test of a closer subject today and see if I get better expansion.
Donald, thanks for the Adams reference. I have some selenium, I'll give it a try.
Jorge, I'll also try some expansion tests at a higher temp.
And, perhaps, the pictures will look better printed.