An article in the latest Model Railroader got me to thinking about making my own loads, and it seemed like a fun, simple project. I do have some loads that were produced by my friend Jim Harr of Stella Models. He had donated a whole bunch of them to the NERPM and I won all of them in the door prize raffle!
|The Stella loads I won were good for some Accurail, Walthers, and Athearn cars.|
What I didn't have were loads for Stewart fish belly hoppers. So I made my own. I measured the Stewart hoppers and cut a piece of pink Styrofoam to fit inside. I then carved it to the profile of the coal load I wanted to represent. I first painted the Styrofoam black with some old Poly S steam power black I had laying around. Then, while the paint was wet, I put a coating of my black sanded grout. I then wet the grout to activate it's binders then poured on black craft sand I picked up at Dollar Tree for $1 a bag. The black sand looks like a good representation of coal. After I got the sand shaped to the contours I wanted I hit it with some wet water, then a 50/50 solution of white glue and water. I then let all dry over night.
|In this picture: 4 finished loads, Poly S steam power black (any black will do actually), my mustard bottle full of white glue/water mixture, and the Steward hopper the loads fit into.|
|Here is a comparison: the long LV hopper has a Stella load in it and the short fish belly LV hopper has one of my home made loads.|
This project was a fun diversion, and it took just about an hour and a half to complete 4 loads. :)