Re: Weighing Freight Car Models with Liquid Gravity

Peter Ness

Hi Randy,


If you really, really have to have Tungsten, our friends at Alumilite sell it in powder form by the ½ lb for USD20


I did not locate any reliable suppliers of Tungsten shot (several China or India on-line suppliers (They may be reliable but the product data was sparse enough to make me suspicious)


A couple of things to consider:

Be sure you are getting Tungsten;

Tungsten Carbide has a lower specific gravity than Tungsten – about halfway betwixt Lead and Tungsten.  Specific gravity of Tungsten Oxide is about half that of Lead.

Tungsten is  identified as a Conflict Mineral because of smelters located in or around the Democratic Republic of Congo that may be engaged in activities generally considered unsavory ranging from slave labor to human trafficking to arms smuggling.  At least a couple of smelters are connected to Russian citizens who are sanctioned by the US Government, hence the smelters are sanctioned as well.  Rest assured, all compliance requirements are on the purveyor of the Tungsten – none apply to the purchaser. Although if you purchase commercially and are registered with the SEC you are obligated to audit you Suppliers who are required to provide the smelters engaged in their supply chain, and if a red flag smelter is reported you are obligated to conduct due diligence with that Supplier or change Suppliers.


If I was going to consider the use of Tungsten powder/shot for adding weight, I would most likely fill the bulk of the void with Lead shot and use the Tungsten powder – perhaps mixed with the glue – to fill the spaces and cavities not filled by the shot. My thinking is that if the Lead shot is not quite enough to hit the desired weight target, adding some Tungsten powder may do the trick.


Something else just occurred to me; from scale aircraft modeling years back I bought a tube of Plumbers Epoxy.  Back then it only came in the copper-filled variety but is now available in steel and perhaps other types. I used it to add to add to the nose of front landing gear aircraft so they would not be “tail-sitters”.  It is easy to work with (cut a slice from the roll –it’s pre-mixed – knead to activate and shape, then apply. Maybe there is a possibility of application to center sills in freight car modeling? Get out your Lead shot, knead the epoxy in a long string, roll it to add the Lead shot (add Tungsten powder to taste if desired) and stuff it in the center sill? The epoxy weighs far more than glue or ACC and the shot will not escape – ever! Who knows, maybe I’ll try this on a flat car center still sometime and let you know what happens.


Peter Ness  




From: [] On Behalf Of Randy Hammill
Sent: Monday, October 29, 2018 11:25 AM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Weighing Freight Car Models with Liquid Gravity


I wonder if that's tungsten shot. I've been trying to find a source for the smallest size shot in bulk, rather than buying shotgun shells and emptying them. This definitely looks like the stuff.

You can get it at Amazon:


Randy Hammill
Modeling the New Haven Railroad 1946-1954  | https//

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