Donald Campbell’s Bluebird

Donald Campbell’s Bluebird

 

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Number
Name Donald Campbell’s ‘Bluebird’
First year published early 1957
Publisher Micromodels
Number of sheets 1 large sheet
Size of sheet size of six cards, folded up
Scale 1 : 100
Description This was the only promotional Micromodel. It is a single sheet of paper printed on both sides, six cards in size, folded up to look like an ordinary packet Micromodel.
The model carries a Mobil Oil Company logo on the front and reverse. On the reverse it reads “with the compliments of the makers of Mobiloil and Mobilgas”.

There are only three copies known in existence. It is unknown why the model was distributed in such limited quantities.
All three authentic Bluebirds come from garages in the southwest of England.

  • One example carries the address of Bridges Garage Ltd. Cirencester, Gloucestershire.
  • One of the other examples is from a garage in Paignton, Devon.

The Bluebird in question is a jet boat which according to the text on the model sheet reached a speed in one direction of 286 mph. on Lake Coniston during September 1956.

Reproductions

At one time it was thought that this model was never issued. David Gilbert of Autocraft has the printing plates and artwork, and thought it unlikely that they had been used. As the artwork and plates were ready to go he decided to make this model an early issue in his range of reproductions. An unusual and  unexplained feature of the printing plate (which Mr. Gilbert has not altered) is that it differs from the plate used to produce the original examples in that it only carries a very small Pegasus logo (not the full Mobil logo) on the reverse. It also reads “printed in England and issued by Mobil Oil Co. Ltd., Westminster, London SW1”. When you study the pictures more differences can be noticed.

Autocraft issued four versions of the Bluebird.

  • Straight copy of the fold out sheet.
  • Six card packet with the Autocraft address on the reverse of the wrapper.
  • Six card packet with the head Micro New Models and numbered SET XVIII.
  • Six card packet with the head Micro New Models, not numbered. This is a an unfinished prototype found in the archives of Micromodels. Dawings for this kit are produced untouched from the original archives.

Micromodels London also produced the model as a sheet. This one is very similar to the original model. On the front it shows the Mobil logo, side 2 is an identical copy of the original. It is printed on thin paper (90 grams paper).

Collectors may be careful purchasing a model that purports to be an original issue. The modern Autocraft and Micromodels London leaflet models are printed on white card as opposed to the more off white, greyish paper of an original issue. The originals are printed on quite thin paper (± 80 grams paper). And the originals show the name of a garage.