The CCH and LCH fleet has been growing gradually over the past 12 months to the point where the fleet now stands at 13 with another about to enter service. However, one of the challenges has been to source suitable loads for the new wagons.
Because the wagons must run empty to the local mine and then depart full, there is no opportunity to cheat a little. Therefore, I have included spreader bars to the wagons although this has added some extra challenges when it comes to fitting coal loads.
The photo below shows my four approaches to the challenge.
Initially I tried a commercial product made for the Silvermaz kits I was using, but these did not allow for the spreader bars. As a result, a fair bid of cutting was necessary. This worked for a CCH load where the "hungry boards" provided some additional depth but the same process failed dismally for the LCH.
I also modified a few K truck coal loads and, again, this worked for the CCH but not the LCH.
Finally, I decided to scratch build the LCH loads using a very thin sheet of styrene as a base. In my most recent attempts, I have added some ribs for extra stiffness. Adding coal was done in stages, with first being a layer superglued to the styrene. When dry, a second and final layer was added using normal track ballasting techniques followed by a final touch up of black paint around the edges.
So now there are 13 loaded wagons ready for Port Waratah with a few more to follow.