Re: MAINLINE MODELER


Tony Thompson
 

     I've been interested in this thread, being the possessor of all published issues of MM. I realize many don't know, or have forgotten, that Bob Hundman explicitly began by recognizing both the production quality, and state-of-the-hobby techniques, in the Narrow Gauge and Short Line Gazette, and he intended MM to be the equivalent for the "main line modeler." I would say he accomplished that, and then some. For the first 20 years, every issue was beautifully done, though in the late years, his attention may have wandered, and I felt the quality fell off.
       Bob was a skilled draftsman, and produced a prodigious quantity of work, but unfortunately was a little cavalier about details, and many of the drawings contain various errors. Most are minor to be sure, but Bob's ego would not let him EVER admit error or publish any correction, whether of text or drawing. In fact, for most of the life of MM, he would not publish any letter that contained a criticism. When he did his reprint volumes, he reprinted every drawing as it originally was, even when he did know there were errors.
        I agree with those who say the impact on the hobby was immense. He did prototype coverage in a way undreamed of at MR and RMC (then and to some extent now), and as I said, the publication quality was simply excellent. I don't think the errors or idiosyncratic style should loom larger than the contribution.

Tony Thompson             Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705         www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; e-mail, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history





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