Final preparations are under way for Expo-NG next weekend, with some small jobs being done. One was loads for wagons, as with my 014 stock it struck me that shunting empty open wagons around is both dull and generally unrealistic. I realise so is shunting loads into then out of the same station, but at least the trains look more interesting!
These loads are all quite easy. Coal is a piece of black plasticard to fit in the wagon, with an off-cut of plastic in the middle to space it up close to the top of the wagon. It is not supported all round, a prod with a finger tips the load and it can be lifted out. Real coal of course is glued on top. This photo also shows the carriages, which have had a weathering wash to tone them down and add shadows.
The timber load is made in the same way as the coal loads but with coffee stirrers cut up and glued on top instead. The sheeted object is offcuts of foam-core board with a single ply of tissue glued over it, and painted with enamels. The nearest wagon has various items glued to a removable floor.
A more important job has been the going over of the stock and locos. The stock have had the back-to-backs of the wheel flanges checked - and in many cases adjusted - using a borrowed gauge, I really should get one. All the locos to be used have been had their wheels and pick-ups cleaned, couplings checked, and a drop of oil where appropriate until they ran smoothly and at low speeds. The photo below shows them all lined up at Awngate. Of course this is at least twice as many locos as the layout actually needs, but it adds variety and provides spares!