Well, I've been noodling around painting the stake wagon this week. Various dry brushings of creams, pale browns, greys and a touch of gunmetal eventually gave me a result I was happy with. On to this went a wash of dark brown. Once dry I felt this needed lighting up a bit and the dry-brushing started again. Not so much but just a bit of lightening here and there.
The result is nicely uneven I think but if I had to do it again, I couldn't !
Anyway, the last job was to fit a paint of Kadee number 5 couplings. The start of holes are moulded in the base of the wagon but these have to be drilled out and then (ideally) tapped with an 8BA thread. The couplings are assembled and the top lip taken off the box (called a pilot box I think) so everything sits flush. A pair of spare steel bolts were shortened and screwed in place. This wagon now connects with the coal tub and that couples with the loco so I think I'm doing OK.
All that is required is a load. It's been too wet to go hunting in the garden for some suitable plant clippings but when I do these will be roped in place with perhaps a little weight hidden underneath to improve running.