This is the first of many coal trains that I will post, it is also the shortest by far. This train is made up of five coal hoppers and a brake van. I have modelled them in the 1960’s, but again it could be stretched a bit. Although I did see this type of wagon, my local station did not have ‘coal drops’ for bottom discharge. This type of wagon was used more at coal concentration depots rather than in local goods yards.
These wagons are loaded and you may be surprised to know that I do not use real coal or any substitutes, I used OO & O gauge ballast!!!!! After much experimenting and trying to break real coal, screen and sort it into grades, I always ended up with more dust than the right sized coal. As I say above, my answer was ballast. When you buy it, it comes in a fairly even size, it glues well with PVA and accepts paint well. I simply make an insert with whatever humps or bumps I require, fit it to the wagon, then add the ballast. After drying and everything is solid I paint it matt black, this also weathers any exposed internal wagon sides and ends. After drying, I then ‘Dry Brush’ gloss paint on about 50% of the raised area’s of the painted ballast.
I would also say that its not a ‘matt’ world we live in and the contrast between the wagon and the load help to enforce this.Don’t ‘over do’ the gloss, keep it subtle.