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Using real coal for car loads


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A guide no one asked for!


To start, you will need

A lump of coal

Ether plastic inserts, or foam inserts that you make yourself to the measurements of your car

A moral and pastel or a hammer and a metal bowl you dont care to beat the crap out of

White glue

50% isopropyl alcohol

Some cotton swabs

Some containers for small amount of liquid

A bottle cap

An herb grinder, or something else to grind the larger bits in to smaller

Some vaper-wave to chill to as you work personally I recommend





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First off, a of the base plastic and the coal added loads


Step 1:

Mix your white glue with 1 part glue to 1 part water

Using a cotton swab, wet the the plastic with glue. I go one side then the other so I can hold the load



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Step 2

Take a bottle cap and scoop the grade of coal you want to have in your load, making sure to have coal dust in the mix.

Sprinkle over the glue.

Repeat step 1 on the small side that was not glued


Notice how I have multiple grades of coal in my bin? The larger is for my locos, and the smaller is for loads. I will talk about the coal grades at the end.



And sorry about shaky camera in last photo...

Edited by shadowtiger25
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Step 3

Wet the coal with the 50% isopropyl alcohol (this allows the glue to soak into the coal, and makes it stick better.

Then add more 50/50 glue mix on top of the coal.

Sprinkle with mostly coal dust. This second layer helps hide the plastic and improves the look. you do not need to do any more layers.






Edited by shadowtiger25
wouldn't let me add pics
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Step 5

Once dry, you will most likely will need to shave some glue off the edge of the plastic to make it fit. I like to make it so the loads slide out easy so I can run empty's and pack up with out damaging loads

You can do this by taking a flat xtaco blade and scraping it off



And the finished look in the car


Edited by shadowtiger25
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Ok, now for grades of coal.

there are 6 grades, or sizes of coal.

Stove, Chestnut, Pea, Buckweat, Rice, and Barley.



Examples in cars




A good resource talking about it


I dont know what grade JNR transported, but it looks like the smaller in videos


Edited by cteno4
Image uploads
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I want to point out something. This guide is for HO, however, it can be used for N-scale to. just scrape coal off from the lump. A comparison of the scale size I made. HO on left, N on right.


Last note, my SL load, next to the coal cars


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