The latest Model Rail (MR163) contains the first review of the splendid new Hornby Trout ballast hopper and, since writing the review I’ve been busy making suitable loads for my small fleet. Using the terrific Geoscenics wagon load kits, a pile of real stone chippings inside the hopper, plus a lightly weathered finish, really brings out the best in these ‘OO’ wagons.
Here’s how I did it…

The Geoscenics kits include stiff card with which to create a false floor for the stone to sit on. A rectangle was cut that sat inside the hopper, about 8mm below the top edge. Once one former has been trimmed to the ideal size, it can be used as a template for the rest of your fleet.

There’s no need to glue the card in place. Simply pour on the stone chippings with a teaspoon, helping it into all corners and shaping it to a suitable ‘pile’ – the handle of the spoon is a handy implement for this.

Having mixed some PVA adhesive with warm water and a drop of washing up liquid, apply the fluid over the ballast, preferably with a syringe. Work patiently, trying not to disturb the pile, letting capillary action take the glue throughout the chippings. Use the spoon handle again to correct any disturbances and leave the model to dry for a few days.

The load of real stone looks realistic and adds some useful weight to the Hornby wagon.


  1. Are the loads removable? If not and you wanted them to be then you could cling film the wagon before adding the load like Michael Campbell did here.

  2. Hi,
    Thanks for the comment and the link to Michael's blog - the cling film sounds like an interesting idea. These loads are fixed permanently, but I can't see why some way of making removable loads shouldn't be possible.


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