Necessity and Innovation - The Bob Semple Tank

When Japan’s Army and Navy began their rapid advance through the Pacific, New Zealand was in trouble. They had no armor, and the bulk of their army was in North Africa. The British empire didn’t have tanks available to send to New Zealand. They had to prepare to defend the homeland with the limited resources on the island. Bob Semple, the Minister of Public Works, came up with a solution. Public Works had 91 Caterpillar D8 tractors and welding shops. A tank body that could be bolted on top of the D8’s was quickly sketched out and built in the shop. Three prototypes were built and tested. It was far from ideal, but it was better than nothing and provided a public relations boost when one was needed.

Vargas Scale Models recently released the only kit of the Bob Semple Tank in 1:35 scale. The kit has 34 parts 3D printed in gray resin. The details are sharp, and the print is very clean. The fit is good for a 3D kit.


That is a very crisp set of moulds- the tracks alone are really nicely printed single pieces. Really quirky looking thing- lovely paint job on it- I particularly like the streaking on the sides and the texture and color of the mud.

Thank you, Karl. The printing of the kit is very crisp. It seems that each Vargas kit is better than the last.

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Nice. I ordered one last night, advised it was posted today. Fabulous service.