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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone ever make any custom coal loads? I have several hoppers that I would like to load and I'm looking for ideas on how and what material to make the load out of.
 

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Of course. This concept is about as old as the hobby. The simplest was is to carve a piece of styrofoam to fit the inside of your hopper. If you want it to be removable, don't make it too snug. Shape the top into a "loaf of bread" shape (or two humps, if you want), paint it black, and glue on a thin layer of fake coal from Woodland Scenics, Scenic Express or anyone else. You can also use real coal, if that floats your boat.

If you want to make it easily removable, embed a 1" steel washer in the foam just under the coal layer, and you can pull it out using a magnet (or use a rare earth magnet and pull it out with any piece of metal).
 

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I cut a piece of cardboard,basswood or plastic so it’s a snug fit in the top 1/4” of a hopper,paint a layer of glue,pile some woodland scenic coal or ballast on it while it’s in place and soak it with a water and white glue solution with a drop of dish soap in it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I cut a piece of cardboard,basswood or plastic so it’s a snug fit in the top 1/4” of a hopper,paint a layer of glue,pile some woodland scenic coal or ballast on it while it’s in place and soak it with a water and white glue solution with a drop of dish soap in it.
For white glue do you mean like Elmers?
 

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Yup. Elmer's is the most widely recognized brand of white glue, but any brand is fine. You can also dilute artists acrylic matte medium, which is more expensive but more resistant to yellowing and more flexible when dry.
 

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I would encourage you to make the loads removeable. I think it looks more realistic to spot a string of empty hoppers at the mine than full ones. I use loose loads in my ore cars and dump them on a rotating table that I built. I does take longer to make the necessary moves, and certainly slows things down, but it does keep me busy when operating, and makes the layout seem much larger than it really is.
 

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I would encourage you to make the loads removeable. I think it looks more realistic to spot a string of empty hoppers at the mine than full ones. I use loose loads in my ore cars and dump them on a rotating table that I built. I does take longer to make the necessary moves, and certainly slows things down, but it does keep me busy when operating, and makes the layout seem much larger than it really is.
You have any pictures of it?
 

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Okay, by lowering the red handle will turn the table and dump out the load in the car. Only one car at a time, but who's in a hurry? I run very short trains, so maybe I might dump 4-5 cars. The chute on the tipple goes up and down and loads the ore cars.
 
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