Ken Chamberlain has published a series of one-page idea sketches in the NMRA Bulletin for years. I mentioned a few months ago that I had purchased a huge cache of old Bulletins from the NWORRP group and, now that the wedding is behind us, I’ve gotten around to looking at them in much more detail.
This pair of idea sheets really caught my eye since I like to kitbash too. The idea is quite simple; instead of building a car from scratch, you take a car that has similar dimensions and features, remove the details that don’t fit then add some that do to get a reasonable stand-in, or “fleet car” to reflect the prototype you are modeling.
Note that on the second page, there is an Erie car that has horizontal bracing ribs on it. I’ll bet you haven’t seen many of those… either in photos OR on someone’s layout. Yet, using this technique, it may be an easy way to add one or two to your rolling stock roster.