1) It's a tender - so it doesn't have to be removable ...
so follow one of the procedures below.
2) Fill the void in an open car such as a coal hopper
with a layer of foam core board - cut with beveled
edges. Glue in place using white glue or KK. Add
coal/ore/whatever on top of the foam core.
Some guys put some steel in the load and 'pick'
the load out with a strong magnet. I usually just
glue it in place ... and swap empty cars for loaded
3) I've also built a styrene "shelf" a couple of times.
One time I built 'feet' under it the other time I
glued the load in over the styrene sheet. Both
worked just fine.
In a tender using a false floor has the advantage
that other stuff can be below it.
4) I often load the entire space with whatever
material required ... for instance a coal tender
that has its own false bottom about 1/4th inch
below the 'top' ... so I used "model coal" for the
5) There are -lots- of options for stuff to fill the
space that are inexpensive ... only the top layer
needs to be "the expensive stuff that looks right" ...
Rice, cereal, sawdust, kit sprues, Chili's sandwich
skewers, plastic 'silverware' broken into small
pieces, bottom layer of nuts/bolts (for weight) and
the rest something cheap, folded up paper towels,
cardboard from a USPS priority mail box, styrene
pellets, R/C "micro balls" (think small ball bearings
of styrofoam), sand (from the beach or a river bed),
dirt from the back yard, last night's left over Thai
Green Curry Chicken, eggplant (what -else- would
you use it for ... certainly NOT to eat ... *G*, the
list is endless ...
6) If you are clever/careful you can probably even
fill the bottom, glue in a load, and remove most
of the filler material from below.
- Jim B.
P.S. Or just do what the prototype did on a large majority
of their steam engines in the era that most of us on
this list model ===> convert it to oil ...