CP Executive train in Albany

CP Executive train in Albany

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Another D&H blue glass hopper

As was mentioned in my post a few weeks ago about weathering a pair of D&H blue recycled glass hoppers, my wife saw my models and wanted one with blue glass. I had been meaning to buy a third car anyways but was going to put extra crushed green glass in it. However, my wife's interest in the project persuaded me to pick up some blue glass tube beads and use them instead. But what car to use? I didn't want another Walther's car because they were prototypically wrong. The Atlas car was better, but it was part of a limited edition set and I didn't want to fork out $25+. So, I turned to the lowly LifeLike model, which actually wasn't too bad.

First off, it isn't a rare car by any means but most sellers want $15 or so for it. I can't see paying that much for a 1970s-era train set car with truck mounted couplers, fuzzy yellow graphics, and crude details like stirrups. I usually checked local train shows for one to be buried in the discount boxes but hadn't found it yet. My wife's urging to get another model forced this to the top of the "want" list and I got a pretty decent deal on Ebay. Upon arrival, I disassembled it and took stock of what I had to do. First, I used a knife to clean up excess flash around the stirrup steps and in between the bays on the underside.

Then, I built up styrene pads under the end sloping areas which would let me body mount Kadee couplers. I realized that I had no hope of reusing the LifeLike trucks even with their couplers removed because they were too flimsy. Instead, I substituted a pair of Athearn freight car trucks that I liberated from a surplus 40' boxcar. I don't know if they are appropriate for this car, but considering the overall "prototype fidelity" of the project I deemed them good enough. The pads I built up were carefully checked for truck swivel clearance, and once the trucks were set I then further adjusted everything so the couplers would end up at the correct height.

The pads don't look terribly realistic from certain angles. But when they were painted flat black, and then later a dark blue to match the car body color (made from combining blue and black paint on the fly) they receded into the darkness. Next, the trucks were drybrushed with brown and black paint to represent rust and grime. The wheels were also painted to kill their metallic sheen. The body needed weathering too, as the yellow graphics were too fuzzy and stark and the molded blue body color was unpainted blue plastic and mottled in appearance. After that was done, the car didn't look half bad.

An false load base was installed but this time I just used flat styrene, painted blue to match the car. I didn't make any mounds with caulk, as I was going to mound the glass itself into the shape I wanted. That would actually give me better control on the final appearance of the glass. The blue glass was bashed up and sifted to remove dust, and then I secured it with more of my homemade matte medium solution. Once dried, I was pretty pleased with the car. I showed it to my wife, but she thought that I had been a bit too stingy with the load. So, the rest of the blue beads were crushed up and onto the car they went in a big mound. Then she was happy too!

Friday, August 28, 2020

Then and Now: North Albany (1974)

(August 14, 1974)
This west-facing shot from 1974 shows the very north end of what I call the "North Albany" yard. The expressway in the back right-hand area is I-90 where it is about to interchange with I-787 (just off the screen on the right). The track at the bottom branching off the mainline might have originally led to a separate switching area with various industries that were cut off from the mainline due to constructing I-787. In the 1980s it was a piggyback COFC loading station, then a set of team tracks called "Bulk Handlers", and more recently a propane dealership receiving tank cars. And, across the street there are some tracks leading to Surpass, a chemical dealer.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Scratchbuilding an A&A MOW car - Part 3 (Paint & Dump Truck load)

There were two final things I still needed to add: ladders and a tack board on the end of the car. The ladders were styrene castings from Precision Scale (#32100) which were specifically designed for 40-foot AAR boxcars, so they were a perfect match for what I needed. The ladders I had previously used on the B&M milk car were etched stainless steel and really wonderful but they were delicate and required drilling holes to secure with superglue. I wanted something a little stronger that I could bond with MEK, so I went with styrene ladders here. The tack board is just a piece of styrene.

The car was first painted by masking and spraying the underframe flat black. Then, the body was primed with gray paint which I mostly focused on the brown end casting. After that, it received several light coats of Tamiya "Pure Orange (#TS98). The A&A paints nearly everything in a standard bright orange (the stations, the coaches, the trim on the steam locomotives, the diesel engines, etc.) which is their trademark. However, the orange has a tendency to fade badly after long periods of sunlight. I chose to use a color that reflected the car as it appeared when recently painted. After removing the masking on the decking, I was very pleased with the result.

Next, I body mounted the trucks and couplers. The pads had already been drilled out before painting but I needed to clean the holes of paint and also drill through the wooden decking on the top. Because I was installing metal paneling I wasn't concerned about the appearance of the holes in the wood planks. To install the metal panels, I learned my lesson from the B&M's etched metal walkway and stayed away from superglue which would ooze through and fill the delicate etchings. Instead, I chose "glue dots" that I normally used to stick pictures in my scrapbook. One in the center of each panel was enough for a display car, though more would be stronger.

Then, I applied thin oil paint washes on the body and metal panels and two problems arose. First, you could see a faint circular outline of the glue dot through the panel as if it was sticking through the dots. Since I was covering it was a truck I was okay with that. Second, and more concerning, the mineral spirits reacted with the glue dots and was absorbed into the space between the adhesive dot and the panel, destroying the joint. I had to use superglue get to reattach two panels. The lesson here is to weather the panels before installation. I finished the panels by drybrushing brown "mud" onto the panels.

I wanted an eye-catching load for this car, and the A&A used to drive a gravel dump truck onto the deck and then move the flatcar to where ballast was needed. This sounded cool, and a picture I was sent from the A&A showed what the truck looked like. Not being a vehicle modeler, I asked on the Model Railroader online forum for recommendations for a proper truck. I found several, including a Herpa model in the exact paint scheme that was in the A&A's photo. I can't tell you if this truck would have been from the 1970s but it looked "boxy" and appropriate for me. They used the flatcar in the 1980s too, so a later model truck would be acceptable.

I first superglued all the axles in place so the truck wouldn't roll. Then, once that was cured, I sanded the truck's tires flat to look like the rubber was compressing under the weight of a ballast load. Next, painted the hydrolic cylinder shaft under the truck silver. Then, I went around with flat black and repainted the truck's frame, tires, and anything else that was shiny black plastic. After that, everything got a spray of Dullcote and the body and cab received oil paint washes of black and brown to represent exhaust smoke grime and mud. I finished a wet Q-tip that I scraped along the sharp edges which removed some of the grime down to the bare silver, which looked pretty good.

And with that, my eighth and final car was finished! Now, I just need to wait for judgment day...

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Scratchbuilding an A&A MOW car - Part 2 (Body, Brakes & Decking)

It was at this time that I reached out to the A&A to see if they had any pictures of the car. They were wonderful enough to send me several shots showing it in all stages of use: as a regular boxcar in its original powder blue paint scheme; as the cut-up flatcar in its blue paint; as a cut up flatcar in bright new orange paint; with a gravel truck chained to it; and with a tanker truck being used for weed control. These pictures were extremely helpful and I am very grateful to them for sending them. They aren't my pictures and I haven't received permission to post them, but a far-away view should be okay.

While I thought about scratchbuilding another boxcar end, I decided to try using a casting instead. I know... it is cheating! But, I wanted to see what challenges I might run into in using one. I searched online and the Walther's catalog and found Details Associates "Dreadnaught" boxcar ends (#6235). The two ends are not the same, with the differences seeming to be along the bottom. I used the one that matched the pictures. The end that faced the flatcar was in real life a portion of the surplus boxcar side cut and spun 90-degrees. The panel riveting lines give it away. I used plain styrene rather then trying to cut up the side of the Accurail boxcar kit. Everything was braced on the inside.

The Details Associates boxcar end casting had flanges along the edges to accept styrene or resin boxcar sides, and I used them to align the styrene sides and roof pieces. I built the top and inside end up with multiple pieces of styrene. The prototype had extra steel weld plates along the tops and edges to hold it all together but I didn't take that into account when building my car. In fact, I first went and puttied and sanded all of the joints perfectly smooth. Then, looking at the pictures I realized it should have been left "rustic" to replicate the efforts by the A&A crew when they built it.

The inside-facing end had a doorway cut into it so that the crew could use the small interior for storage. I scribed the outline of the door on the end piece and then used small triangular pieces and small lengths of styrene rod to build up the door hinges and the door lock hardware. I find fabricated hinges look better than hinge castings, which can be clunky. At the top, another horizontal piece of styrene was installed per the prototype. After that, I drilled a lot of tiny holes with a #72 bit (0.025") and installed the grab irons formed from 0.015" stainless steel wire. This drill bit/wire size combo has become a favorite of mine. Interestingly, the prototype grab irons were not all the same size.

After that, I turned my car upside down and worked on the brake details. Even though I had some soft metal castings of brake parts which looked better, I prefer working with styrene pieces because it means I can use MEK instead of superglue for attaching them. The brake cylinder, air tank, and triple valve castings came from the Accurail boxcar kit. Styrene rods and strips were bent and attached to form the connecting air pipes. Cal Scale air hoses on the ends finished it all up. Unfortunately, adding them made it difficult to flip the car over without braking (get it?) them unless I set it on something tall enough to give them clearance. Now I remember why I always glued them on last!

Looking at the prototype pictures revealed profile boards along the sides of the floor that stuck down. No doubt they were somehow tied to crossbraces that either supported the deck of the car or the boxcar door's lower channel. I formed these from styrene strip and glued them to the sides, and then added a thin piece that ran along the length of the side which hid the exposed ends of the cross braces. I have never really noticed these details before but on a car like this (especially once painted bright orange) they stand out. The traditional boxcar door's lower sliding track was made from Evergreen C-channel.

Next, I began adding the rivets to the boxcar portions of the car. The sides were originally cut at panel joints so each side would have two vertical rows of rivets, one on each edge. The new inner end with the door cut in it was formed from a three-panel piece of boxcar side. I used some Archer Fine Transfers rivet decals strips I had left over from the B&M milk car. The decking was also leftover Crescent Locomotive Works 2x12" scale lumber that I had purchased for my pair of flatcars that was a little too short for them, but perfect for this car. I shouldn't have installed it until after I painted the car though. Oops! Now I need to mask it for painting.

Finally, I worked on the most striking detail for the car: the patterned steel top that the A&A applied over the decking. Based on the 2007 pictures I took of the rotted car, I noted that the steel sheets had a pattern of holes drilled in them (as opposed to something such as a stamped diamond pattern) and that the steel was installed in panels. If I couldn't find a comparable substitute I would need to bury the deck in gravel to hide it, something I was loathe to do. I asked on an online forum and also reached out to noted modeler Pierre Oliver for suggestions, and both pointed me to Plano Model Products splash screen. It was perfect! I had purchased metal roofwalks from them for my B&M car but promptly forgot about them. I cut it into small panels and tested them on the car, and they looked great! It was now ready for painting.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Scratchbuilding an A&A MOW car - Part 1 (Frame)

Photo by Harold Russell - used with permission
With seven of the eight cars already completed towards my MMR certification, I was on the home stretch. What's more, I didn't have to scratchbuild the last car if I didn't want to (only 4 of the 8 must be scratchbuilt enough to earn judging points) so as long as it was "super detailed" it would qualify. Still, I had come this far and figured it might be nice to say "I scratchbuilt them all." But what to model? I knew for sure I didn't want to do anything associated with cows!

Each of my models has been a personal, introspective journey through my history and connection with railroads. Two cars were based on railroads I liked as a kid (Conrail, BN); two models were based on current modeling interests (D&H, B&M); one was selected for the pure challenge of doing something different (the Borden butterdish car); and one was based on my growing interest in the Maine two-footers. I love all things British and especially Welsh narrow gauge (which the Maine two-footers actually copied... so I suppose I can check that box) and my GWR cattle wagon accomplished that. But, something was glaring in its omission... the Arcade and Attica Railroad!

I have a passion for the A&A going back at least thirty years. As a Passenger, Railfan, Stock owner, online forum moderator, and occasional modeler, I have collected of the A&A in multiple scales and gauges. For my MMR I wanted to build something related to them, but wasn't sure what. One of their boxcars would be too similar to the B&M car. Their open gondola #300, which is a war-emergency gondola with steel and wood sides, would be an interesting project but I have already kitbashed a model of it. If Funaro and Camerlengo ever gets around to releasing their Boonton coach kits I could superdetail one of those, but it has been 18+ years and counting since I was told they were in the works. So, what's left? The A&A has a plow and two cabooses but neither was the simple project I was interested in.

Photo by Harold Russell - used with permission
Then I remembered Maintenance of Way (MOW) car #522. The prototype originally started out as 40-foot steel boxcar #522 built in 1952. In 1972, the A&A cut down and removed most of the boxcar super-structure leaving just a small portion on one end, which they walled off and added a door. The result was essentially a flatcar with a secured storage area on the end. It was used for gravel service by chaining a dump truck to the flat portion and having the truck spill the gravel onto the track. Weed control involved chaining a tanker truck on the back. The car was first shown in an article by Harold Russell on the A&A in the September 1978 issue of Model Railroader magazine, and a follow-up construction article by Mr. Russell without drawings appeared in the May 1979 issue. I asked online on several forums but no one had any other pictures of the car from the 1970s. I then reached out to Mr. Russell himself and asked if he had any further pictures of the car but he didn't. He was gracious enough to allow me to post here the pictures he took for the article, which I really appreciate. 

What was left of the car in May 2007

I also had some pictures of the car that I took in May of 2007 when I visited Arcade, but by then the railroad had completely cut off the boxcar portion, and the remains of the flatcar were rotting away. It had been used hard and put away wet, so to speak. I have been told that the A&A "used every part of that car" and it served its many functions well. Still, the pictures showed the sheet metal flooring that had been installed and it also gave me a couple of other handy tidbits of information. When I took pictures of it, I had no idea of the history of the car but I am sure glad I did. Here was the simple, fun project I was looking for, and it was two different cars in one!
Sister boxcar #518 (September 1975)

As I started researching where to begin, I had to figure out what type of boxcar it started off as. It was a 40' steel boxcar, but there are many types of steel boxcars. And there are many modelers who do excellent work detailing these specific types of boxcars. Without knowing the actual classification of boxcar I would never be able to get plans and build an accurate underframe, but I had no clue what it was. So, I sent a picture to Pierre at Elgin Car Shops who instantly identified it as a 1937 AAR designed boxcar. He couldn't confirm whether the internal height was 10 feet or 10.5 feet, but I gave him a pass! With that in mind, I started searching for underframe drawings.
Intermountain kit
And good luck with that! I am sure they are out it in the wild somewhere, but the Train Shed Cyclopedia #17 featuring boxcars didn't help. I found lots of online blogs and articles about specific boxcars, but none for an AAR 40' boxcar. And some commercial manufacturers don't always focus on prototype fidelity when it comes to making models of them (and who can blame them? We rarely flip the car over and look) but one company that did excellent work was Innovative Model Works (IMWX). They were later bought out by Intermountain, but their boxcar kits are very good. I thought about buying one to use as the basis for my car, but that likely wouldn't get me any scratchbuilding points. So, I bought an Accurail kit and used that for dimensions, along with pictures of the IMWX kit, to scratchbuild my frame. 

It started off as a piece of 0.060" thick styrene, cut to size, and with some 0.020" thick Evergreen freight car siding laminated on the side that will face down. Then, the pair of longitudinal center beams as well as the cross braces were built from pieces of styrene cut and filed to the proper profile. I fabricated everything on this car myself. After the first night's progress, I clamped everything flat so it would dry without warping. With an open car like there, there was absolutely no place to hide sheet steel to prevent it from bowing so it had to be kept as flat as possible. 

Then, I had to add the L-angle longitudinal bracing. Each side of the car had three stringers running from front to back, and each one passed under the crossbraces. As is typically the case, I had to install mine by cutting each piece individually and gluing them on in a nice straight line. The L-angles are Plastruct 3/64" (A-1) and no matter what I try the ABS plastic never sticks very well to styrene. I use straight MEK and that only produces a "sort of" bond. If I flexed it the ABS would pop off. However, Evergreen styrene angles are never this crisp so I am bound to use Plastruct. It took four lengths to do the entire floor, but like an idiot I bought only one when I went to the hobby store. So, I had to go back. Now I have lots in my supply!

And that seemed a good place to stop and regroup for the next step: the body.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Looking back: Alco T&HS railfan trip at Cooperstown (8/17/2014)

Recently I was thinking about the Cooperstown and Charlotte Valley Railroad, a heritage railroad that runs about 90 minutes from where I live. Though I have visited the area several times to take pictures, I have only ridden the train once. And that was on August 17, 2014, when the Alco Historical & Technical Society charted a train for a "rare mileage trip". Now, the entire railroad as it currently exists is only about 16 miles long, and it runs from its southern connection with Norfolk Southern (previously C.P.) at Cooperstown Junction up to the Village of Cooperstown. I wasn't quite sure how much of that would be "rare" since I had never ridden their regular train, but it seemed like a fun thing to do. I even got my wife to go along with us. It also included a buffet lunch at a local barbecue restaurant, so you couldn't go wrong.

I will mention at the onset that my wife and I love to ride excursion trains (and I imagine anyone reading this blog does too) but our favorite aspect isn't a vintage steam locomotive or nicely restored coaches or even the scenery. The best part of any trip is the opportunity to ride in an open-air car, usually a gondola or an old converted coach. Getting the rush of the fresh air, seeing and hearing the noises of the train and scenery going by you, and the ability to walk about and stretch make it the best car on the train. The CACV had just such a car, a gondola with a frame for what I would guess would be a tarp roof in the fall. We spent a lot of the time there.

But, one of the things the AH&TS did to try and raise money was a charity raffle for a cab ride. I bought a ticket or two myself, but what I didn't know was that my wife bought a ton of tickets on my behalf without telling me. How many? I don't know, but I was just as surprised as anyone to find out that I won! So, the crew led me up to the second of two locomotives on the train (there were two Alco engines pulling our consist because it was an ALCO sponsored excursion train). It was a cozy cab indeed. Alas, there was no one with me in the cab for the ride and for the first couple of miles I actually got bored being by myself. Can you imagine?

So, when we got to the first photo opportunity spot I asked the crew if my wife could join me, and they agreed. As a result, she got her first cab ride. I don't think she appreciated the nuances of an old Alco bumping around or the noise and grime from a working piece of machinery, but we both got a kick when the engine literally shut off on its own twice during the trip! They thought we had done something, but we had only been sitting there looking out of the windows. Crazy old Alco engines! Despite the set backs, I really got a thrill with the cab ride and now appreciate even more the hard work that railroad crews put in for hours in a cab.

The railroad ran through some pretty scenery, and every now and then we would see water from a parallel stream. Despite being in the summer, the grass and trees weren't dead from the heat and many of the pictures I took show a bucolic side of New York State that I miss living near Albany. Someday, hopefully we can retire and move back out into the country. When we got to photo spots, I sometimes got out to take pictures and sometimes I just ducked in the cab so I wouldn't be visible and ruin everyone else's pictures. I imagine that if you squint enough in some you can still see me. Oh well.

The next couple of photos show the train arriving in the Village of Cooperstown. The old train station in the Village itself has some boxcars and a passenger car on display, and it is still used as the headquarters for the New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway Corporation, but it has no physical track or corporate business connections with the CACV. A road separates the northern most end of track for the CACV and the isolated railroad equipment at the old station. The CACV built a runaround track just south of this area where its tourist trains can turn around before their return trip to Milford, the departure area for trains and about the half-way point of the railroad (the southern half really isn't used much).

The rare mileage portion of this trip came in the fact that we ventured north about a half-mile from the passing siding. I don't know when Glen Avenue, the road separating the active railroad from the station, had been paved over and cut the track in two, but it had been many years. From what I understand, someone had examined the track up to Glen Avenue before to make sure it was safe for travel but the clearances would be tight. We started off by heading along track that ran parallel to a Price Chopper parking lot. I am sure that many of the shoppers were very confused to find a train along that stretch of track.

When we stopped to take pictures, I suggested to the group leader that we should get together and take a group shot. I am sure we have all seen at one time or another photos or movies of old railroad groups who chartered trains and happened to take pictures of themselves. They appear on EBay every now and then, and I thought that perhaps someday this trip would be remembered for the rare mileage we went on. Sadly, I never got a copy of the group picture but perhaps I will reach out and ask someone who took one for a copy of it.  I did get a picture of the train parked next to the parking lot with about a dozen people in it, but our group was much larger.

And then we slowly, very slowly, ventured north to the end of the track. The pictures here tell the story...

We finally stopped about 100 feet from the road. Then, everyone got out and took more pictures. Since I was riding in the cab by myself at the time I got a view that few others did, and since I was further up from the rest of the group in the coach I got an extra 10 feet of "rare mileage!" In fact, it is only now looking at the pictures that I realize they cut the train behind the first coach. I didn't remember that. The trip had taken us through dense forest areas, behind houses (and I have no idea what those homeowners thought when they heard a train sneaking through their back yard) and through a tunnel of trees that hasn't been disturbed in years. We also broke one of the rear-facing mirrors on the engine I was in when it hit a branch. Oops!

My friend Peter, who is a great guy and resource for anything train related, posed on the road with the train behind. This distance is how far we were from Glen Avenue.

Meanwhile, if I spun 180 degrees and walked a little further north this is the view of the rear of the station, as well as some captive boxcars. Two coaches are on the right-most track behind the boxcar. This equipment is likely stuck here for the near future.

After we all had a good stretch, the engines and the single coach were backed up to rejoin the rest of the train. Then, the engines ran around the consist and we headed back south towards Milford. I remember we rode again in the open gondola and we talked with the general manager of the CACV at the time. He had big plans for events for the future, and was a genuinely nice gentleman to deal with. Having some experience with the management and logistical issues that come from operating a short line railroad, it was interesting to hear his take on things. They also sold hot dogs on the train at a pretty cheap price, and I bought one. I am a sucker for hot dogs. Yum!

Since this time, the AH&TS hasn't sponsored another trip, and I haven't been back to the CACV either. From what I understand, the "blue beast" (my nickname) for the engine I rode in has been repainted into the black, white and red Canadian National scheme #8223. Here is a great online picture of her now. There are also several other Alco switch engines on the property with various owners. Were it not for the pandemic I would have probably have ridden it again this year. Perhaps in 2021 I will get a chance to return.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Scratchbuilding a GWR cattle wagon - Part 5 (Weathering & Cows)

The cattle wagons lasted for decades on the GWR. Originally, they used powdered lime (limestone, not the fruit) to sterilize the lower third of the wagon interior and in short order it would leach outside of the wagon, giving it a white band all around the car. This practice was discontinued in the 1920s, and I didn't want to do that anyway. Instead, I followed the picture and gave the car a used appearance but didn't want to make it look like it was falling apart. The underside of the car, with its mess of pipes, diagonal braces, and brake gear, was painted flat black and hidden in the shadows. Drybrushing various shades of brown (dirt) and orange (rust) made them pop. Acrylic paint doesn't go on perfectly smooth, and any rough texture looks like accumulated dirt and crusty rust.

I then used mineral spirits and oil paints, mostly beige and brown but with a little black, to make washes which were then applied to the interior and exterior of the car. Even though the car was regularly disinfected, it still got dirty after transporting livestock on the inside. The outside was a different change of pace for me, as I am sure they used lead paint on the wooden body and thus it wouldn't rust like metal boxcars and stock cars do today. It was nice to approach weathering this car differently from all the 50-foot steel boxcars that I have on my roster that seem to have rust everywhere. I also gave the cows a bath in brown oil paint wash to tone down their plastic look.

Looking at many of the pictures, I noticed that the iron and steel work did rust a bit more and that caused it to visually stand out against the gray sides. In some cases, it was extreme but I didn't want that. So, I used a microbrush to lightly stipple some reddish/black paint on only the steel angles and bracing. Whenever I thought I added too much I gently wiped it away. I wasn't going for a subtle look, but at the same time the rusting ironwork wasn't to be the focus of the car. I used acrylic paint as it is thicker than regular model paint and you can use that to add texture to the "rust." When I thought I had done too much I went to bed, but upon waking up in the morning I thought it was perfect.

The straw or hay load (my wife says there is a difference, but I don't know it) was made by cutting up a cheap chip brush that I got at the hardware store. It was straw colored which looked good. I used a combination of scissors and a knife to remove them. WARNING... they flew everywhere on my work bench, including near some models with fresh paint that I had drying. It is probably best do cut them outside or near a garbage can. I easily collected enough for several cars, or maybe some future scenery projects. They were tossed into the car and encouraged to poke out the sides, just like in some pictures I had seen. Alcohol followed by matte medium secured them.

Finally, all I had left to do was add the cows. I looked online for realistic cows, and I found two sets by Bachmann in their "Scene Scapes" line that looked good (#33102, #33103). One set was brown with white spots, and the other was white with black spots. Beats me if cows of different colors normally traveled together. I assumed that they would face the same direction in the car, being as they were all loaded from the same side. So, I dipped all four of their feet in thick Arlene's Craft Glue and then stuck them down. Then, I sprinkled more of the hay around their feet and secured it with alcohol and matte medium. I left it to dry overnight, and by the next morning the roof was ready to be attached.

The roof met the car's upper edges pretty well, but there were slight gaps. I used thick beads of Loctite Superglue gel (once I discovered it, I absolutely love it for everything) and then carefully set the roof into place The glue took up and filled any gaps, and I didn't need to put any pressure on it to keep it in place. Once that cured, the car was essentially finished. My display cabinet has one shelf specifically to hold my scratchbuilt cars, and there was just enough room to slip this short car in. It came out really nice and I think the cows are cute. That being said, I was ready to moooove onto my next project.