By Marty McGuirk
I build most of my freight cars to run on the layout, not to enter a contest. This means I often don't bother adding the those parts and underbody components that (1) interfere with operation or (2) can't be seen in profile with the car sitting on the track. I might ignore Rule 2, but I never break, or bend Rule 1.
Adding weight to house cars is pretty straightforward but adding enough weight to a flat car or gondola can be a challenge. You could weight a flat car by adding a heavy load, but it’s nice to have an empty car that tracks reliably.
I used A-Line "lead buckshot" style weights for this. The photo shows about half the weights in place. I tried CA at first, but that was difficult to work with. I found a thick coat of Pacer Formula 560 Canopy Glue is a great way of adhering dissimilar parts (like etched metal to plastic) so I decided to try it. My tests showed the buckshot stayed in place so I filled the "voids" between the center sill and cross stringers above the trucks with Canopy Glue and dropped the buckshot into the glue. I also filled the space between the two center sills with Canopy Glue and dropped in more lead shot.