This model is the conclusion of a thread I started in 2011 working on a flat resin kit for the first time. Funaro & Camerlengo makes this kit, which comes "flat", in that each side, the top, bottom, ends, etc are all separate castings that need to be carefully sanded & filed to fit together. It is a long process, but one that I found very enjoyable, and the resulting model is quite rare as these are not offered by any mass-producer. Also, the assembly process with any model allows you to customize it - I added a Plano roofwalk, scratchbuilt hatch hardware, a Moloco draft gear box, trucks and wheels from Exactrail, brake lines from Hi-Tech, metal stirrups....you get the picture.
These cars were built in 1951 by the Erie Railroad in their Dunmore shops located outside Scranton, PA. With a capable shop force, they assembled the cars from kits supplied by General American Transportation Corporation. Only 100 of these cars were built, and at the time, they were truly a "jumbo" covered hopper with a max load of 3050 cubic feet. Obviously Erie did something right, as these cars outlasted the shop that built them by over 30 years and wore the paint schemes of their successor roads; Erie Lackawanna, and Conrail.
The paint and decals on this model are indicative of a 1979 shop date. My era of choice is 1981, so this might be a bit extreme for a 2-year old paint job. However, early CR repaints were done quickly, often without priming, and as we've seen in the Penn Central / Conrail "bleeder" covered hoppers, the paint can literally wash away, and was known to have happened in a very short period of time. With that in mind, you're seeing a bit of the EL gray showing through toward the middle of the car, while rust has started taking over the sides as well. The roof shows a lot of grime, some leftover grain, and the intricate old-school hardware typical of 1950's era covered hoppers. The idea with this car was to have one or two stragglers on the layout that would be hanging around and near the end of their useful lives in service - the visual differences in design, construction, and weathering set it apart from anything more modern and bring the point home.