Tanks of New Zealand: The Schofield Tank
Tanks of New Zealand: The Schofield Tank

For Bolt Action, I’ve been building a New Zealand force for each major theatre, whether it’s North Africa, Europe or in the Pacific.  One theatre I’ve been toying with is a Home Guard type scenario, similar to Warlord Games “Operation Sea Lion” supplement, except it would be in New Zealand/Australia and have Japanese as the invading force rather than Germans. This would give the opportunity to field oddball tanks such as the Bob Semple and the Schofield.

I’d already build a Bob Semple tank as one of my first ever prints, and wanted to make myself a Schofield. The only problem is that no such file existed.  So after a bit of research, and a few discussions with Wargaming3D contributor and tank designer extraordinaire Deweycat, I’d tracked down some blueprints and reference photos – and within a day, he had a workable model of the “Second Prototype” of the Schofield in my inbox. I managed to print the first test print hours before boarding a plane for a two week holiday to Malaysia.  I’m now back in the USA, and Deweycat has updated the model to a V2 with improved turret piece (this is already uploaded to thingiverse).

Get the model from Deweycat’s thingiverse page here.

Background:

(From Wikipedia & Warthunder)

The Schofield tank, named after its designer, was a New Zealand tank design of the Second World War. Developed in 1940 when it seemed that the Pacific War might reach New Zealand and with little likelihood of weapons coming from Britain, it did not enter service. It was designed to run on either tracks or wheels.

When a need for the production of indigenous armoured fighting vehicles arose in 1940, E.J.Schofield, a motor vehicle dealer for General Motors, in Wellington, approached the government with his own design.

The first prototype Schofield

The Schofield tank was based on the chassis of a Chevrolet 6 hundredweight truck using the suspension from a Universal Carrier. Wheels normally carried on the hull could be bolted on so that it could use these rather than the tracks. As initially designed it had a crew of three: machine gunner and driver at the front and a second machine gun in a turret at the rear.

The initial design (Prototype #1) performed badly in trials but the Government sought an improved version. Designed by another member of the original team, the improved model used a better transmission and the turret now contained a QF 2 pounder gun with a co-axial Besa machine gun. By the time it was complete, in 1942, New Zealand had received tanks from the UK and US.

The armour plating was provided by the New Zealand Railways. The four wheels shared drive and idler sprockets with the track, and the move from wheels to track, and vice versa, could be made from within the hull.

The second prototype Schofield

In 1943 the improved design prototype (Prototype #2) was shipped to Britain, where it was evaluated by the Department of Tank Design. Although not completely critical, the project was advised to be stopped. The tank was stored for a while and scrapped post war.

Specifications:

Name: Light Tank, Wheel-and-Track Prototype #2, Schofield Tank Type II, Schofield Tank Prototype #2
Type: Light Tank
Origin: New Zealand
Year Designed: 1941
Year Built: 1942
Produced: 1

Length: 3.99 meters, 3.96 meters, 3.918 meters
Width: 2.6 meters, 2.71 meters, 2.584 meters
Height: 2.02 meters, 2.1 meters with wheels, 2.1 meters, 2.032 meters
Weight: 6,500 kilograms, 5,290 kilograms, 5,300 kilograms, 6,350 kilograms

Crew: 3 (Driver, Gunner, Commander)
Armour: 6mm to 10mm, 4mm to 11mm, 6mm to 11mm (11mm front hull, turret; 6mm side hull, turret; 6mm rear hull, turret)
Speed: 43 km/h on tracks, 72 km/h on wheels, 74 km/h on wheels
Engine: Chevrolet petrol 6-cylinder 29.5 hp
Suspension: Horstmann Suspension
Operational Range: 901 kilometers

Armaments: 1x Ordnance QF 2-pounder (Turret with 52 rounds), 1x 7.92mm BESA Medium Machine Gun (Coaxial with 2,700 rounds)

Using the Schofield in Bolt Action

There are no official rules for the Schofield in Bolt Action, as it never saw combat.  That said, it’s a great tank for “what-if” invasion of New Zealand type scenarios.  I suggest using an army list from Operation Sea Lion for the New Zealand forces, and using it as a tank or armored car option if allowed in the list/scenario with your opponents approval. The following stats are created using the Vehicle Design System written by Richard Humble and published by Bolt Action Alliance and WWPD. Specs are for the Prototype #2.

  • Hull: The tank had light armor (6-10mm), roughly equivalent to that of an armored carrier (7+ pen) +50 points
  • Weapons: 2 Pounder Anti Tank Gun (+50 points for light anti tank gun) and a Coax Medium Machine Gun (+10 points for MMG, -5 points for coax)
  • Special Rules:
    • Tracked (Wheels were not used in Combat) (+0 points)
    • As the tank was only a prototype never used in combat I would give it the “Experimental” rule -10 points OR the “Unreliable” rule -20 points, I’m going to stick with experimental as there was no evidence of it being unreliable in written material. You could go either way with this.
    • Vehicle Experience: As the tank was only a prototype, crew would not have had the chance to gain any real combat experience, meaning that crew could only be “Inexperienced” -20% of points

Points: 50 + 50 + 10 – 5 + 0 -20 = 85 points -20% (for inexperienced) = 68 points

Schofield Tank:

Cost: 68 Points (Inexperienced)
Damage Value: 7+
Weapons: Turret Mounted 2 Pounder Anti Tank Gun & Coax MMG
Special Rules: Tracked, Experimental

 

 

 

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