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I am adapting my Bachmann 2-6-0 Mogul to battery power. The tender is quite small so to make more room inside I am cutting out the inset coal pile and replacing it with a 0.040" styrene cover. Where is a good source for fake coal and how do I make it pile up and stay? Thanks.
 

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Get a real piece of coal and break it up. You can usually find a coal source in the yellow pages. You can also visit a real steam locomotive site and ask for some like I did at Cass.
Or, use aquarium stone, which comes in many colors including black. You can paint other colors with flat black. Only thing is with the stones, they are a little rounded and not jagged like coal is. In all these cases, mix clear water based glue with water and a couple of drops of dish washing liquid. Pour it over the load, then when dry, spray the load with Krylon flat matte or Testors Dulcote.

Here's aquarium stone in a K-28. Next under is a K-27 with real coal.


 

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I have 40 lbs of black fishtank gravel that use in some of my coal hoppers for a realistic coal load. I use it loose so I can load and unload the cars, but I'm sure a mix of water and white glue, sprayed over the load in the tender would set them in place nicely.
 

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I used a piece of foam like they use for packing shaped the top to look like a pile of coal then I applied a coat of glue (be careful because some glues will melt the foam) and I then used real coal that I had crushed with a hammer here is the result....
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone. Great methods to consider. If I happened to go with the coal from sceneryexpress is O the right scale?
 

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I use my ballast, No. 5 granite crusher fines, colored with permanent ink and held in-place with white glue diluted with the ink. To save weight, I usually do it on a layer of foam, or have an interior ledge within the car and the granite is glued onto masonite.



Load on the Shay was also done this way.

 

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I've used several different things. For mine run, one really good one is a mixture of aquarium charcoal (never cared for the too shiny gravel colors) and the woodland scenics coal (little plastic bits). The color and size variations make it look more realistic to me

If your engine has a stoker, you'll want to use just the scenics product or bust up the charcoal into smaller pieces
 

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I haven't done this in G scale but I used aquarium charcoal for HO coal loads. I have a great big piece of brass rod. I used it like a rolling pin to crush the charcoal to the desires size. After putting your "coal" in place, make a 50.50 mix of white glue and warm water with a touch of liquid dish washing soap. Apply this mixture to your coal load. It will dry clear but will glue your coal in place.
 

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I too use aquarium charcoal for my loads. I use Ecoglue (which dries clear) and glue the charcoal to a piece of styrofoam. In my opinion, it's the right size for realistic size to be shoveling into the firebox!
 

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I wash dishes with it.

But I think the reference here is to break the surface tension of the liquid so that it "wets" or soaks into the stack of rocks better.
 

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I use the Lionel coal that is use for O scale. does not look to bad. later RJD
 

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Nothing beats real coal to represent coal! Diluted white glue has worked best for me. I first put carpenter's glue on the bottom and spread it evenly and then sprinkle crushed coal in a layer. I then change to diluted white glue (after the carpenter's glue has dried!) and liberally dribble it over the coal already attached. I then layer more coal over the first and let dry. When the coal reaches the proper depth I dribble the diluted glue over the entire load and let dry. White glue dries clear and the diluting allows it to work around the individual pieces.

Here's my Connie with a real coal load added:
 

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I placed real coal in an old thick sock and then took a hammer to it.
Sock kept the coal from flying around.




Then you hide the sock under your mattress so your wife doesn't find it
 

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If you didn't get your coal yet, email me. I have a 5' pile of it I'd be willin to share......
Terry
 
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