I had a pair of Walthers 2-bay ribbed hopper in Southern Pacific scheme in my pile of unused rolling stock. I'll probably never have any use for them and they were intended to be bashed as QRL&PCo coal hoppers until I found out they were unsuitable.
Instead of leaving them to their sad destiny, I decided to repaint them and given them another chance. The fact they had the same number of panels than a Pennsylvania GLca hopper made them an easy job. Sure, they aren't exact replica of the prototype, but it means I can use available decals.
Among improvements, I replace the oversized grabirons with very thin stripes of styrene. Modeles usually make good use of wire for that purpose, but I was a little bit lazy. Drilling thinny hole on hopper ends can be time consuming and I didn't want to put to much effort on a car that is otherwise obviously unprototypical. I think the styrene stripes are a decent compromise between accuracy and oversized details.
Cars were painted with Krylon Red Oxyde primer and lettered using CDS Dry Transfer. A few minutes later, the cars were complete and ready to be weathered, which will occur when I'll resupply on Dullcote.
Quest for Decals
I'm actually in the process of locating old Erie Railroad decals to complete the fleet. Unfortunately, most of them are long out of production and unavailable. Sure there is Ebay, but buying decals from the States and adding the shipping cost makes it so uneconomical it makes restoring old cars a folly.
I'm mainly looking for decals suitable for ARA 70T 4-bay coal hoppers, 40ft boxcars and 41ft gondolas (I have two old Roundhouse gondolas that would be very useful on the layout).
From what I've seen, Champ Decals, CDS Lettering and a few others including Campbell did produce suitable sets.