That's a long preamble. But think back to the P.P.S. of my blog post on January 9th. Stephen Duckworth noted that the spacing between the letters 'In thee O Lord' varies on 'Prepare' transfers, which otherwise look very similar. Those letters are on the periphery of the transfer, so could they have possibly been distorted during application?
Take a look at the spacing of the letters on the details below. All of them come from the clunky brown-bordered plaques commonly associated with Scott. On some the letters are compressed, so that the 'thee' is pressed against the 'O'. On others there is a distinct space between them. (Click on the images to enlarge and to move between them.)
My eyes ache. I'm going to have a cup of tea.
So on reflection, it seems more likely that distortion of the transfer plate over time, rather than problems during application of transfers, accounts for the differences in spacing.