Recent experimental realizations of atomic column resolution core-loss spectroscopy in the scanning transmission electron microscope have increased the importance of routinely modelling core-loss images. We discuss different approaches to wave function simulation and how they may be used in conjunction with the mixed dynamic form factor model to simulate images resulting from such inelastic scattering events. It is shown that, as resolution improves and in situations where the degree of thermal scattering is high, detailed quantitative comparisons will require the thermal scattering of electrons to be adequately modelled. Indeed, for sufficiently strong thermal scattering even qualitative interpretation may be affected: we give an example where this leads to a contrast reversal. We describe two methods suited to this purpose, the frozen lattice model and the scattering factor model, and explain how they may be combined with the mixed dynamic form factor approach.