Well I have to say that I find this all very interesting and hope it continues! While not necessarily about prototypical models of steam era freight cars, it is about where we started (and the individuals involved) and that is how we got to the accurate (more or less) that we have today. Those early models, why they may fail to meet the current standards, if it hadn't been for them, and everyone relied upon models similar to O and S Scale tinplate models, I would imagine that we would not have made the progress that we have made.
It's always nice to learn about the past, so one of my favorite columns is Collectors Consist in RMC.
Naturally, YMMV . . .
Brian R. Termunde