@Hot Water posted:
In my opinion, the best of all time were the St Charles Model Works coal and gondola loads. Don't know if they are still in business.
Unfortunately they are not in business. I've emailed them a few times in the past year and got no reply. You can't order from their website which I did on several occasions.
Hands down, they made the best drop in coal and gondola loads. I think I have like 4 gondola loads for my Atlas 52' gondolas, with the coiled wire being the best. They were pretty affordable too.
I bought some coal loads on eBay from a seller who uses real anthracite coal glued to a styrofoam base. I also bought a few coal loads from somebody in PA who uses wood blocks as a base. I wasn't impressed with either so I pitched them. Fortunately I found some Weaver coal loads for my Weaver 4-bay hoppers and they were a perfect fit and looked the best. I miss Weaver Models.