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Old 12th June 2010, 22:48   #1
eTraxx
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Default Source for scale Coal

I dropped by my hobby shop today and picked up a bag of Woodland Scenics 'Mine Run Coal'. The bag is described as "9 cu. in. (147.5 cu.cm.)" and cost me $3.99

On the way back home I stopped at Michaels and found a bag of "Coarse Black Sand". This was a 2lb bag and cost me $3.00

Hard to compare the two but the sand was about five times the quantity of the 'coal'.

The Woodland Scenics Mine Run Coal is described as 'finer then their lump coal'. Looking at it under my Illuminated Stand Magnifier .. it looks like .. charcoal ..

The Black Sand looks to me like Coal.

These two photos were taken at approximately the same distance. The WS coal is at least 50% dust.


Zooming in ..


As I said, I examined the materials under my Illuminated Stand Magnifier (with scale) ... nifty little device ..


Just for reference .. here is an American penny. The scale is numbered in mm from 0 to 10. The small marks are .1 mm


So. Here are my feeble attempts to take a photo through the magnifier.


If you take away the dust from the Woodland Scenics coal then the charcoal looking lumps run between .5 and 1.5 mm. The sand averages about 1mm x 1-1.5mm

My opinion is that the Michaels sand looks much much more like coal then the Woodland Scenics product. In size it (sand) scales about 3-6" ..

My estimate is that I paid around $.44 an ounce for the Woodland Scenics Mine Run Coal and about $.07 an ounce for the Michaels sand .. that looks better.
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Old 12th June 2010, 23:59   #2
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Default Re: Source for scale Coal

I got some of the WS Mine Run a while back aswell. I like it for N-Scale to be honest.
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Old 13th June 2010, 00:15   #3
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Default Re: Source for scale Coal

I'm thinking .. (I model HO) .. that using the sand .. and then sprinkling on some of the WS coal would prob work pretty well
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Old 13th June 2010, 04:45   #4
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Default Re: Source for scale Coal

I've mentioned this in passing before - but here it goes again.

I have a fish tank in my study with filtration that hang on the back of the tank. Once a month I swap out the charcoal for fresh. It comes in a small net bag and the whole bag goes into the system making it really easy to change out. For years I was throwing the old charcoal away - then one month I opened up the bag and looked at what was inside and it looks like scale coal to me - might be a bit large, but I'm of the school of thought that some things need to be over scale a bit so the full size human eye can recognize it.

So now I've been saving the charcoal (after rinsing it clean and drying it). I've already used it in some of the fuel loads in my locomotives. I like it - and the price is right.

And then a couple of months ago I looked at the mesh bag with a critical eye and I think I can make scale fishing nets for my harbour scene.
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Old 13th June 2010, 12:00   #5
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Default Re: Source for scale Coal

I think of as many uses for things before throwing them out it has saved me heaps of money over the years.
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Old 13th June 2010, 18:51   #6
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Default Re: Source for scale Coal

I use burned sand used for sand blasing.
My local dealer came with that idea and I like it.
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Old 14th June 2010, 21:32   #7
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Default Re: Source for scale Coal

Quote:
Originally Posted by b12brother View Post
I use burned sand used for sand blasing.
My local dealer came with that idea and I like it.
Sorry for the uncomplete post but I had some computer-trouble so I had to shut down everthing.
The burned sand looks quite the same than the coal you can get from Busch but much finer. I got 1 Kg from my local dealer for free. He was told it's used sifted quartz sand.



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Old 16th June 2010, 21:19   #8
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Default Re: Source for scale Coal

I added the 'coal' to the coal shed. It is darker then the photo shows as you are getting reflected light from the lamps I used to take the photo.



I will be painting a HO guy with shovel shortly and put him to work.
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Old 17th June 2010, 17:04   #9
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Default Re: Source for scale Coal

Here you go. Dropped a bar magnet into the 'coal' and swirled it all around. The photo with me holding the magnet is it turned up with the part that was in the 'coal' showing. Absolutely no magnetic material at all! Cool beans.

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Old 21st June 2010, 21:54   #10
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Default Re: Source for scale Coal

If it's any help, I tend to use real coal and whack it with a hammer until it looks right. I did try once, many years ago using "manufactured coal" and it was awful - might have been WS as it was way too fine (except for Z Scale maybe).

Scale wise I just used my eyes until it looked the right size. I used photo's for reference. So that way it dioesn't really matter what scale you model in as long as the model and photo look the "scale".

I've done it this way in HO and O Scale no problem. You'll find your eyes are actually quite accurate.
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