This truly one-of-a-kind brass model was created and painted in 1974 by Ken Middleton who co-authored the definitive GNRHS book on Great Northern steam locomotives and their tenders. Great Northern built the prototype 3300 to work out of Great Falls, Montana to constantly plow snow on the lines radiating out of Great Falls. For anyone modeling the GN in the Great Falls area, this is a signature piece that it belongs in your Great Falls modeling scheme.
We saw this model for the first time in 1977 in Ken's home in Michigan. He had it neatly displayed inside of a large glass display case along with dozens of other Great Northern steamers that he had painted. Nice as those other models were, THIS MODEL stood out from the pack.
It's a combination of several brass models along with lots of completely scratch-built parts including the tender shell and the snowplow. All of these components were then fitted together, combined, soldered and painted into what must be called, a true work of art. It's craftsmanship that deserves accolades, and done at a level that few others could accomplish.
One of the best things about being involved with high-end brass model trains is being able to see and work with some of the truly one-of-a-kind brass models that have been created by some of the finest craftsmen and modelers to ever come down the line. Ken's work here is truly an inspiration. Workmanship like this only comes around a few times in a person's lifetime and it is priced accordingly. It doesn't appear to have been layout used or even test run for that matter.
We're grading it as a C-9 model because after it was created and painted, it went straight into a display case beginning in 1974. The model does have an open frame 12vdc motor and a smooth functioning gearbox, operates just fine, and comes packed inside of a Reboxx box and foam. The model is dry of lubrication since it was intended to be a show piece, not an operating model. So if you plan to operate it you'll need to properly lubricate and grease the motor bearings, gearbox and axles.
As you can see from our images, this is a BEAUTIFULLY made and painted model. The time to buy something this rare and unusual is when you see it. Once sold, we may never see this model on the market again in our lifetime. It is that rare.
If you have any questions about this one-of-a-kind scratch-built and kit-bashed brass model locomotive please ask before buying it.