I decided to go ahead and upgrade the ladder rungs on this car. The flat profile of the rungs just didn't look right. In the first photo the two middle rungs are original, while the others are 0.015" styrene rod.
Normally I would use 0.010" rod but the nub left when cutting off the rung was bigger than 0.010", it looked odd with the smaller rod installed. The second photo shows one end of the completed ladder rung swap.
I then cleaned and primed the car. Paint used is ScaleCoat Box Car Red #2. This is a medium oxide and looked right to my eye. I weathered with Pan Pastels to represent a car that was repainted two years prior to my 1955 timeframe.
Trucks are Tichy 50 ton ARA spring plankless, these cars were upgraded to 50ton from the as built 40 ton rating.