Tasha Oates updated October 25, 2010


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  • Bob Hundman's Legacy

    (Naperville, IL)—An icon in both the modeling and publishing world, Bob Hundman of Hundman Publishing and Mainline Modeler graced the 17th Annual Railroad Prototype Modelers (RPM) Meet in Naperville, IL.

    Kicking off the meet, Hundman spoke to a banquet room full of prototype modelers at the Holiday Inn Express welcoming another opportunity to celebrate the hobby and share his expertise.

    Hundman recalled his early childhood along the Rock Island Parkway, his paper route a block from Joliet Union Depot, and the many days he spent photographing engines with Bruce Meyers there.

    His past, his present, and his future are full of trains. He lamented the death of Mainline Modeler and Hundman Publishing, but relished the chance to share with others what he’s learned about the industry, about trains, and about successfully publishing a magazine.

    “The challenges associated with putting together a magazine are unbelievable,” Hundman said. “I realized very quickly I no longer had time for personal hobbies. My life had to be devoted to the magazine.”

    Mainline Modeler was launched with a borrowed $4,000 and the faith, hard work, and hope of Hundman. Over time, the one-man endeavor slowly grew to acquire a secretary and later a few more employees that were comprised of mostly family members.

    Publishing Mainline Modeler was full of ups and downs. Using a printer in Vancouver, British Columbia required Hundman’s daughter and son-in-law to rent a U-haul and drive the distance to pick up the printed magazines, only to return to Hundman’s garage and spend the next two days packaging and mailing them out to subscribers.  

    It was feast or famine. People either loved it or hated it, and deadlines weren’t always met. But in the end, Hundman and his team were able to produce a valuable magazine and asset for the industry – still highly valued and collected by modelers today.

    Showing no signs of retirement or slowing down, Hundman continues to work on numerous drawings and projects for local societies. He needs the hobby as much as it needs him. Thanking those in the room who once contributed to Mainline Modeler and continue to write for and contribute to the hobby today, Hundman seemed disappointed to realize his time had come to an end. But we all know there isn’t an end for Bob Hundman, Mainline Modeler, or the contributions he’s made to the industry. His legacy will go on in perpetuity.


    For more information, contact Tasha Oates with TrainLife at toates@trainlife.com.

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