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Bluebird K7


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This was/is one of my favorite projects. This water craft held the world speed record for many years and was piloted by Sir Donald Campbell. There were several variants over the course of years but the one I have built is the final version that ended in tragedy.


The kit started as a simple vac-form shell designed to be filled with expanding foam, have a model rocket engine shoved up its rear and fired across a watery surface to its destruction and amusement of others. Fom there I scratch built the cockpit, engine & components and transom details. If you fancy the gloss finish it is because I'm really a car guy.




Here she is completed and a slideshow of the project from the begining.


Constructive comments welcome.


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Constructive Comment...... Don't destroy it! Great looking model! How about a short "How To" w/ images for the website or even better, a more extensive How To for the Journal!

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  • 1 year later...

Hi Guys

Bluebird modellers may be interested in this.

A long, long time ago over here in England, there was a company named Merit

who manufactured some small ranges of kits. Over the years a few of their moulds

have found their way into eastern european manufacture, such as the Black Falcon

Pirate ship and a couple of car kits, an Alfa Romeo 158 Alfetta and Talbot Lago GP

cars. They had a range of 1/25th scale racing cars from the 1950's and I believe

that they made a limited range of aircraft kits. I know that they made an injection

moulded kit of Campbell's Bluebird Water Speed Record Boat that was released

in the early sixties. Not sure of the scale though. Possibly 1/24th or 1/32nd.

I remember seeing it in a hobby store back in the sixties, but never since.

The company incidentally was located in a town named Potters Bar North of London

and Revell's UK manufacturing unit was in the same street at the time!. I'm surprised that

Revell did not get this kit as they have bought lots of moulds over the years from various

now defunct kit manufacturers. Merit may still survive as a company making childrens

board games. I know that all the car kit moulds except the Alfa and Talbot were sold to a

company in Italy. Maybe the Bluebird moulds went that way too?

Or maybe gathering dust and rust at Merit's factory or scrapped years ago. Who knows?

The kit is now extremely rare, and very expensive when they crop up for sale.

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May I ask a dumb question about the BLUEBIRD? Did they ever build a functional replica of her for a TV show in the UK?


Just...wow! Beautiful build of a very cool subject. Thanx for posting this!

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  • 8 months later...

Yes a replica was built for a UK TV movie about Donald Campbell....Not sure about whether propelled or not though. Maybe just a dummy for filming slow moving shots.

The Actor playing Campbell was Anthony Holpkins who you may remember played Hannibal Lecter along with actress Jodie Foster in Silence of the Lambs.

Edited by noelsmith
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Jay - That is a great model build and a great subject! Do you know what scale the orginal "toy" was? I do my own Vacuum-Forming and know how difficult it is to get it looking as good as you have done on this model. I am also interested on what you used for your referance material? I have seen several photo's of 'The Bluebird" but never with the engine cowling off. Dan King

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  • 1 month later...

Ref Dan Kink's post. I think that there may now be a dedicated museum to the Campbells next to Coniston Water in Cumbria here in the UK. Cosiston Water is where tragically Donald Campbell lost his life in Bleubird whilst attempting the World Water Speed Record



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  • 5 months later...

Hi Ron, I think that the Pyro model kits you are referring to were originally released here in the UK by a company named IMPACT. They made a limited number of inter wars aircraft that were really excellent kits. Hawker Fury, Gloster Gladiator, Bristol Bulldog and Fairey Flycatcher all in 1/48th Scale. They may also have made some really early stuff as well such as the Bristol Boxkite.

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