Mountain Models Little Bogie Mini Old Timer Review

Interesting looking, quaint, loads of character. It is for sure a very tempting little airplane!



Wingspan:36 in.
Wing Area:164 sq. in.
Weight:4.2 - 4.5 oz.
Wing Loading:3.7 - 4.0 oz/sq. ft.
Servos:2 x 3.7 gram servos
Receiver:4 channel mini receiver
Battery:2s 360 LiPo
Motor:D1811-2000 10 gram Outrunner
ESC:6 Amp 6 gram
Manufacturer:Mountain Models
Available From:Mountain Models

Now "Mini" and "Electric" - that's clear enough, but "Old Timer"? What is that all about?

The Society of Antique Modelers specialize in "those designed, published, or available as kits during the golden era of model aviation, the decade of the thirties to the beginning of World War II". According to SAM models from earlier than 1939 are "Antiques" and models from 1939-1942 are "Old Timers", so the Little Bogie is an Old Timer, sort of. Only "sort of" because it is a fresh new design, although very much in the spirit of Old Timers. Well and good, but why Bogie? Now, what is more retro than an Old Timer? And who is more retro than Humphrey Bogart? Got it? Good.

But what about flying? Hey, you can ask me! I was born in '35 and was around to see this stuff when I was a kid. Remember that in the Old Timer era, R/C was primitive, scarce, expensive, unreliable and required a "ham" license. Most model aircraft were flown "free flight." Early on, this meant that the plane took off under its own power, climbed until it ran out of fuel, settled into a circular glide, and came down when it felt like it... and sometimes that was a couple of hours later, or even more! Needless to say many airplanes were lost when Hung, the Thermal God, carried them away to oblivion. As the era developed, devices were created to limit flight time. On the one hand, engine run time was limited at first by measuring out fuel with an eye dropper, later by a mechanical timer that cut off the ignition (yes, ignition prior to the use of glo plugs) or pinched the fuel line shut. Since contests were still won on the basis of time spent in the air, limited fuel meant a quest for more altitude since more altitude added up to longer soaring, so Old Timers were designed to climb steep and fast. But more altitude meant more time in the domain of Hung, so the name of the game became completing as many flights as possible to a "max", a designated maximum flight length of, say, 10 minutes. When time was up, what would save a plane from a strong thermal? A "dethermalizer" of course. Dethermalizers were devices that spoiled the glide, usually by using a mechanical timer or a fuse burning through a rubber band to cause the stabilizer to tilt up at an acute angle, causing the plane to descend gently in a level attitude. Flying 10 minutes on 10 seconds worth of climb is far from easy. Hence, Old Timers were designed to climb steep and fast, yet soar as readily as the best of sailplanes.

If the Little Bogie Mini Old Timer Electric Model is indeed a faux Old Timer, you should be able to expect that it can take off by itself, climb steeply, catch thermals, stay up "power off", settle into a gentle glide and land itself but with the addition of being able to use R/C to fly all over the sky just for the joy of seeing the sun shine through the rich colors of this pretty little plane. All of this the Little Bogie does, and does well. Treat yourself to one. You will have a great time.

Kit Contents

Mountain Models did a great job with this kit. The design employs a light weight structure, a beautiful quality of very light weight laser cut balsa, and complete and very clear instructions. I especially like the use of a series of large isometric drawings in the instructions instead of photographs which, in many kits, are irritatingly fuzzy.

The kit contains:

  • 24" x 36" plan plus 22 page instruction booklet (available on line)
  • Seven sheets of laser cut balsa and one sheet of laser cut plywood
  • Trailing edge reinforcements cut from 1/64" plywood
  • wire for pushrods and pre bent landing gear
  • light weight wheels
  • all required small parts (servo connectors, control horns, etc.)

The Little Bogie has to be light, and for best performance, should weigh 4.2 - 4.5 oz all up. Select the lightest possible equipment and absolutely do not use any but the lightest of covering materials. Mountain Models can provide whatever you might need.

!!! You will need:

  • D1811-2000 10 gram outrunner motor*
  • Feigao or Moutain Models* 6 gram 6 amp brushless ESC
  • 2 Power HD 3.7 gram servos*
  • Rhino* or Polyquest 2 cell 360 ma. lipo battery
  • GWS 6.3 prop*
  • Covering material. Mountain Models recommends Solite. I used Coverite Microlite.
*=available from Mountain Models and supplied for this review


Brian Eberwein, designer of the Little Bogie, says it "is built from self-jigging interlocking laser cut balsa and plywood parts. It's like a 3D jigsaw puzzle with instructions. If the instructions are read beforehand and followed during the build, the Little Bogie can be built up and ready to fly in only a few evenings."

If ARFs and RTFs have been your life up to this point, the Little Bogie with its simple structure and accurately interlocking parts will be a great choice for your first venture into actually building your own model. Even if you are an experienced model builder, read the instructions anyway, especially the warning to NOT glue anything until told to do so and the grim prediction of what will happen if you use covering materials heavier than those recommended.


The fuselage is assembled by laminating a pylon, building a core around it, adding sides to the core and finishing it up. Here are some important things to remember:

  • Do NOT glue parts together until the instructions say to do so.
  • Make sure to install the formers right side up and with the engraved text forward
  • Although the two sides look identical, they are NOT the same. Note that the middle tab on the right side of the fuselage crutch has a little notch in the center. Note that the corresponding slot in the right fuselage side has a little bar to match the notch in the fuselage crutch, so do not think that little bar is a mistake and cut it out. (I bet you can guess which smarty pants did that!)

With the fuselage assembled to this point, it would be a good idea to make sure that your ESC will fit comfortably and that the battery and the receiver connectors will pass through the crutch and formers to the location of the battery and receiver. In fact, you could install them along with the servos and motor at this stage.


The combination of diagonal ribs locked between a spar top and spar bottom along with sub ribs along the leading edge produces a strong warp-free wing with a true airfoil.


Cover the plan with waxed paper and build the tail over that. Nothing to it. So easy I forgot to take a picture.


Use a lightweight covering film such as So-Lite or Coverite Microlite. DO NOT use heavier films. Besides adding unwanted weight the shrinkage of these films can damage the lightweight structure of the Little Bogie.

I thought a lot about covering with Japanese tissue and nitrate dope. That would have worked well and looked swell. I hope someone does that and adds a photo to this review. As for me, I settled for Microlite and am pleased with the transparent yellow finish.

Final Assembly

If this was not previously done, it would be best to install the motor, ESC, battery, and receiver now so you can do so without banging the tail around. After that assembly is just a matter of gluing the tail parts together and gluing the tail on. The wing is mounted with rubber bands


Check the CG, and adjust the control throws per the settings recommended in the instructions. Make sure there are no warps in the wing and stabilizer, and if you discover any, remove them. With that done, you are ready to go.



What a joy to take the Little Bogie out on a sunny day. Because it does virtually fly itself, a beginner can feel successful from the start with this little bird, and advanced flyers can welcome it as an escape from the tensions of aerobatic and 3D flying. I find that even the hotshots at my local field really enjoy standing back to watch the Bogie fly.

Taking Off and Landing

Taking off from grass is asking a lot from the Bogie's little wheels, but taking off from dirt or gravel is just fine With the impressive power of its tiny motor, the Little Bogie can hop into the air almost instantly. Alternatively, it can be hand launched with just a gentle toss. Given its free flight heritage, the Little Bogie will glide itself to a safe landing. Just steer it to where you want it to set down.

Aerobatics/Special Flight Performance

Aerobatics are not what this airplane is all about. You can loop it if you insist, but that's about it. This model is for relaxed cruising about, and that's all it needs to do to provide a lot of enjoyment. Actually, with its amazingly low wing loading and considerable wing area, the Little Bogie can be a powered sailplane. It will readily catch thermals and can soar to impressive altitudes, "specking out" as they say. In fact, CAUTION: One day I reached great altitude in a thermal so strong relative to the feather weight of the Little Bogie that when I wanted to come down the airplane continued rising even though I was holding full down elevator. I had to escape by spiraling downward, being careful to keep the spiral gentle so as to not snap a wing off. Remember when flying in thermals that the Thermal God is waiting to snatch the Little Bogie away and add it to his collection.

Is This For a Beginner?

Absolutely! Not only does the Little Bogie pretty much fly itself, it is so very light that it is nearly crash proof. An absolute beginner might be wise to ask an experienced pilot to take the maiden flight and trim the Little Bogie. That done, the beginner can have at it with confidence.

Flight Video/Photo Gallery



The Little Bogie is a keeper. Here's your chance (if you have never done so before) to experience the relaxed pleasure of building up a balsa model from a very well designed and prepared kit, and here's your chance to experience flying the Old Time way. The Little Bogie is a tiny take it anywhere, ready to fly at a moment's notice and easy to confine to a small "parkflyer" space. Apparently it is the first of several more mini Old Timer models to come from Mountain Models. I can't wait to see the next one.

I Like:

  • All of it!
  • Easy to build
  • First rate materials
  • Flies great

Not To Like:

  • Not a single complaint!


Many thanks to: Ray Peterson for inflight still photos and Jacques Mok for shooting the video. Great work, guys.

Last edited by Angela H; Jul 08, 2010 at 08:19 AM..
Thread Tools
Jul 08, 2010, 09:23 AM
Registered User
MIGl7's Avatar
WOW- A build thread! The magazines don't even do that anymore.

A friend of mine has a "Miss2" Looks similar and probably flys the same as well, dead slow. Good Review

Jul 08, 2010, 11:19 AM
Registered User

Flying Models .....

Originally Posted by MIGl7
WOW- A build thread! The magazines don't even do that anymore.

A friend of mine has a "Miss2" Looks similar and probably flys the same as well, dead slow. Good Review


..... sure does! Although it is hard to find at most LHSs, who dont cater to builders anyway, it is, for my money, the only model builders magazie in the USA left standing! I subscribe.
Not only do they have very good construction articals, they are a sorce catalog for those supliers that our LHS no longer carries. I used to be a firm believer in supporting the LHS, but am being changed by thier lack of concern for my (the customer) needs & wants. They used to try to carry stuff I used, or at least special order it for me, but since they no longer do this, I now just special order it myself, & save $ too!

My 2 cents worth, .....

Jul 08, 2010, 11:34 AM
Registered User

As for the Bogie, .....

..... it looks a lot like my Playboy, right down to the color & brand covering material used. the difference is, Mine has the poly-deihedral type wing, & the Fus. & tail are covered in Essaki tissue.

I very much enjoyed this kit review. I also enjoy my Playboy, which is SAM leagal, from a short kit I got from Mr. Bob Holman, as short kit.

Jul 08, 2010, 11:49 AM
Registered User
RJD1234's Avatar
Cute little plane. After looking at the video, it did appear to be slightly tail heavy. Did you expericence this is flight?
Jul 08, 2010, 12:28 PM
Registered User
Originally Posted by Laramie
..... it looks a lot like my Playboy, right down to the color & brand covering material used. the difference is, Mine has the poly-deihedral type wing, & the Fus. & tail are covered in Essaki tissue.

I very much enjoyed this kit review. I also enjoy my Playboy, which is SAM leagal, from a short kit I got from Mr. Bob Holman, as short kit.

Im thinking this kit has a .049 glow conversion in its future
Jul 08, 2010, 12:35 PM
can't let's fly.
JOE-TELLY's Avatar
Li'l Bogey looks like a neat kit build too.I might order one.
Jul 08, 2010, 12:37 PM
Registered User
slappySF's Avatar
I love my Little Bogie. Great, stable, relaxing floater. And it looks wicked cool.

Only thing I don't love right now is the weather here in the SF Bay Area. Summer wind and fog pattern. Arrgh. Those calm mornings to float around the Little Bogie are few and far between!
Jul 08, 2010, 12:52 PM
BYOP - Build Your Own Planes
Mountain Models's Avatar
Originally Posted by M_Saint
Im thinking this kit has a .049 glow conversion in its future
At 4.2 to 4.5 ounces for the kit version, an 049 would rip the wings off!

However, a nice TD 020 would be a thing of beauty. I really should find my box of old Cox motors, to see if I have one in there.

Albert, thank you for doing the review on our kit!

Brian Eberwein
Mountain Models
Jul 08, 2010, 01:13 PM
Registered User
Originally Posted by Mountain Models
At 4.2 to 4.5 ounces for the kit version, an 049 would rip the wings off!

However, a nice TD 020 would be a thing of beauty. I really should find my box of old Cox motors, to see if I have one in there.

Albert, thank you for doing the review on our kit!

Brian Eberwein
Mountain Models
Them lil .020 motors are getting expensive to buy. Much less the cost of the out of production glow heads for them.
Last edited by M_Saint; Jul 08, 2010 at 05:32 PM.
Jul 08, 2010, 06:27 PM
Registered User
Thread OP
RJD1234 Yes, the video was taken on an early flight and the plane was tail heavy (because I dropped something on the aft fuselage, smashing it, and the repair added weight). It took just a bit of nose weight to fly much much better and flying in less wind helped too.

M. Saint No way to that .049. Even a peppy .020 could be a handfull. Trying CO2 might be an interesting experiment.However, the e-motor I used is such a jewel it is hard to imagine not using it, and the cost is reasonable.
Jul 08, 2010, 08:15 PM
"On the Wing"
paulo810's Avatar
Gootta love those old timers, wish I had time to build one, lucky to just find the time to fly occasionally.

Jul 08, 2010, 11:33 PM
SAM Elec GrdChmp04,07,10,12,14
Jay Burkart's Avatar
Cute model.
Wish they would have made it a copy of a SAM Legal model.
We could have made an event for it and others in it's size range in SAM.
There just aren't any good newbie builder kits for SAM models anymore now that
Spirit of Yesteryear has gone.

Sure stops new people building Old Timers all the present kits require
builders to figure out the RC control surfaces and how to mount a electric motor.
The only kits that had that information in the plans were SOY and Bob Sliff kits.
Jay Burkart
Jul 09, 2010, 04:21 PM
Obviously I'm a "Minus Member"
buzzltyr's Avatar
Jay, I think MM/Brian would be concerned about making a "copy" of a model that is out there, unless the design/plans are clearly in the public domain. If someone owns the plan/design, Brian can find himself in a heap of trouble if he just shrunk/enlarged the plan, and sold kits. The Little Bogie has the approximate outline of a Playboy, but is Brian's own creation. I'm not very conversant with the SAM rules. So I really don't have any idea -- can you fly a "modern" design, or does it have to be a design done before a certain year? If it were possible to do a "new" design and have it be SAM-legal, that would be OK. But if the design has to be old, I'm not sure Brian (or anyone) can just appropriate the design and make a kit, without running head on into the copyright rules.

Jul 10, 2010, 10:35 PM
Registered User
Gentlemen: I bought my Little Bogie on the 4th of April, received on the 8th, finish building it on the 11th, and then had to wait 3 weeks before I could take it out for its maiden flight. After that I fell in love with this beautiful airplane. On a calm day it flies like a homesick angel. But beware of dandylions, I was coming in for a landing when I hit a white topped dandylion and Little Bogie promptly fliped over on its back and the dandylion was fine. That should give you an idea just how lite a 4oz plane really is. The Little Bogie is the most relaxing and enjoyable plane I have ever flown. Rahko

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