Multiplex’s Mini Mag or Mini Magister, is one of the latest additions to my hangar. The Elapor foam model has just a couple of pieces and a full set of hardware. Like all Elapor models, it goes together with CA.
Depending on the pieces, you can use kicker. If so, you want to ensure you have things perfectly aligned and pushed together fast.
I planned to end up with a O-1 “Bird Dog” paint scheme. That plan required a couple of steps not needed if you plan to use the decals provided with the kit. First, I sanded the entire model and second, I did a little surgery on the tail to better match the rounded shape of the O-1’s vertical and horizontal stabilizers. See the build link on this page for a more detailed description of how it goes together.
As with all the Multiplex kits I’ve worked with, little was left out. I say little because the assembly for the tail wheel or water rudder if you plan floats is not included. They are described in the instructions and scale drawings are included, but the parts aren’t. I dropped by my LHS and picked up a piece of music wire and a tube for it to slide in at their model car counter. Besides the trip, it set me back a whopping $2. Other than that the other hardware was of typical Multiplex quality. That is very good.
The Mini Mag can be build as either a 3-channel or 4-channel model. I chose the 4-channel version. That meant 4 mini servos similar to the Hitec HS55s. I used HXT900 servos from Hobby City. They fit almost perfectly in the recesses molded into the fuselage sides and wings. The relatively short servo wires required 12” servo extensions for easy access to the receiver that mounts in a cavity under the wing.
As with most foam models, it is a good idea to test fit the battery(s) that you plan to use before gluing the fuselage together. That way, if you need to dig out some extra room, you’ll have easy access to the inside. I planned on using 2100 mAh 3-cell lipos. My MaxAmps fit without any modifications. Such was not the case with the motor.
I erred when ordering my motor. The web site described the dimensions of the motor erroneously in that they failed to note and I failed to anticipate the extra diameter added by the heat fins on the inrunner’s body. I considered ordering (and waiting for) the motor without the fins, but decided to try and make it fit. The motor mount is a two piece plastic mount with the frame and a face plate. While the motor would fit in the frame with the tabs on the frame conveniently sliding in the slots between fins, the blocks holding the faceplate mounting screws prevented the larger motor from sliding flush against the faceplate.
After a little experimenting, I decided to reverse the motor mount in the fuselage with the face plate to the rear and the shaft of the motor facing out the back of the mount now at the front of the plane. Since the motor didn’t fit snuggly against the mount, I got a couple of nylon spacers at my local Ace Hardware along with some longer 3MM screws. These allowed the motor to mount firmly with the mounting bracket. This also opened the front up to direct airflow without the motor mounting plate in the way. Problem solved. Please refer to the Mini Mag Build Log article for a more indepth review and a link to the Mini Mag manual. Here are some of the Mini Mag's vital statistics.
|Weight||21 ounces w/o battery|
|Prop||APC 6 X 4|
|Motor||HTX 2835 2700kV|
The Mini Mag takes off in very little runway. I usually use less than full power to aid in keeping it heading where I want it. Once airborne, it flies very well. My all green O-1 paint job causes me to keep it fairly close. It is easy to lose orientation when it gets too far away. The HXT2835 2700 brushless motor provides lots of power. The Mini Mag accelerates and climbs smartly. Loops are easily done at half throttle. Even with reduced throws, it rolls nicely with just a little “nose down” stick when passing through inverted.
Landings are a non-event. I simply set up on final approach and reduce the power to get the decent I want and it maintains glide path with little input. Since it is fairly light weight and glides well, the power can come gently to idle several feet in the air and it settles smoothly to the runway. As mentioned above, I installed the tail wheel. I doubt you’d do much taxiing without it.