The Northern Pacific for a s large as it was, is rather neglected when it comes to modeling. When I was growing up, we would take either the Milwaukee Road Hiawatha or the Norhtern Pacific North Coast limited east out of Montana to visit relatives in Northern Indiana. The Hiawatha could get us all of the way to Chicago, but with the schedules, we usually ended up taking the NCL to the twin cities and then connect with whatever railroad had the best connecting schedule to Chicago where we would then thak the North Shore line into Indiana.
I model the area where I live in Montana connecting to both the Milwaukee Road and the Northern Pacific with my freelance Logan Valley RR. Years ago when Athearn forst brought out their F-7 painted in the Lowey paint scheme I picked one up and managed to find a few Walthers passenger cars in the same pint scheme, and used it as a tourist train running through my tracks taking tourists to Yellowstone National Park.
The NP did have a train running from Livingston, MT to Gardiner MT from the turn of the century until around 1955.
Freelancing is cool because you can make up you own rules, so my rules are running a tourist train across my rails.
I finally got a bug up my butt and wanted to have as close as I could a model of the NCL. There are brass versions available but way out of my price range and there are a couple of companies offering A and B units in the Lowey paint scheme, but only in DCC and again, quite pricey. I got a hold of a Stewart powered F-3 and a dummy F7B unit.
To start off with, the colors on the Stewart units weren't even close and then they also came un-numbered. There were also some additional details that needed to be added to make the units correct such as winterization hatches, 5 chime horns and such.
The Athearn Genisis F-7 colors were right on, so not much nneded to be done to it, but the Stewart units had to be detailed, repainted and lettered. I used Microscale decals to complete the A and B units and here's what is now MY version of the North Coast Limited.