Coal Car Loads from Scratch

A simple method to make loads of cheap coal loads for your coal cars.

Rather than buy imitation coal loads for my Walthers Bethgons, I made my own using a very simple method anyone can do.

The only tools you will require are:
1. a sharp knife to cut foam
2. a rasp or coarse sand paper instead
3. a spray bottle with water / rubbing alcohol 90/10 mix
4. a piece of 1" thick blue foam board, the quantity depends on how many loads you require you will require
5. PVA glue, both full strength and some diluted with water about 75/25 mix
6. a bag of fine coal or imitation coal such as the grit used in sand blasting cabinets

First cut a rectangle of foam that will fit nice and snug into the car body, with it in place inside the car, draw a pencil line around any excess around the top.

Now remove it and take the rasp or sandpaper to it and shape it to look like the real thing. Take the foam down past the pencil line about 1/8th of an inch and test fit it to make sure the profile looks right.

Next remove it and brush full strength white glue over the top nice and thick (I find it's best to do it on a nice sunny warm day).  Pour a good measure of coal over the top (do this over a container to save the excess). Place the imitation load on a level surface and spray with the water and alcohol mix till the glue is running through.

I let it sit for 15 minutes and then drizzle on some of the diluted glue and add more coal to fill any gaps, then give it another light spray to draw the glue right through.

All you can do now is leave it to bake in the sun for a couple of hours to dry out and that should be that. If you find any holes in the coal after just add more coal like before.


©2006/2020, Steve B.