One of those jobs I rarely find the time to do is fill my wagons with some sort of load. As it stands, I have a substantial fleet of ballast and spoil wagons with nary a drop of ballast in them! They have been weathered, but left without a load. Okay, not all wagons will have a load at any one time, but the lack of any loads in my fleet looks strange. The problem is that I find load making a tedious affair at the best of times and making them light enough so not to overload already hefty wagons such as the Dapol MRA takes some time to work out too.
Enter Wagon Essentials and its lovely range of loads for various open wagons. I have equipped a recently weathered MRA with a full set of loads to good effect. This was followed up with a set of Network Rail JNAs, enhancing the appearance of the wagons considerably. So far, I have only used ballast loads which are composed of soft, light polystyrene bases which add little to the weight of the wagon and do not scratch the paint finish (or carefully applied weathering effects).
I suggest you complete any weathering before fitting the loads. The effect looks so much better, especially if the interior of the wagon has been treated with rust and dust from the load. The Wagon Essentials products are far better than filling up open wagons with ballast and gluing it in which only wastes material and adds too much weight to the model. With the Dapol MRA weighing in at nearly a Kilo for a 5-wagon set, the last thing you want to do to that model is add any more weight than is absolutely necessary. More information can be found on the Wagon Essentials web site.