1/35 Churchill Mk IV AVRE

Yep. I have gone modeling crazy this time. Its a cycle and yes, its just me. One moment, its electronics, then its model kits, then its comics, then its the Wife, then its photography, then its.... well, you get the picture. Sometimes, I just wonder why I am doing all these when I should be doing something else. But then again, personally, I want to achieve something until to its completion so that I do not feel so empty in my life, even if I have a family now.

The 'Question of the day' is, "Why did I chose this model of all things?". I mean, its huge and well, that was the only think I can think of. Huge. If you must know, it is the British's main tank at that time and they were involved in the Dieppe Raid which had a very unfortunate high casualty result among the Canadians. One look at the tank and you know its that its heavily armoured, a bit too long and very very destructive.

But do I care about this? No. What I wanted from this kit were its tracks for some other project which at this moment, is too early for me to reveal.

The box for the kit is surprisingly quite sturdy, despite it
was made from thinner cardboard. But I can't help feeling
that it might just fail one day when I stack it with other
model kits. Or maybe, I am just used to sturdier boxes of
Trumpeteer which looked very rugged and well, coarse.

There were other Churchill models in Hobby HQ but I
chose this one because it has individual track links
with the usual vinyl ones. The individual track
links will
definitely make the model look more realistic
because in
real tanks, the tracks actually sag, which
something vinyl
tracks cannot do.

I have never seen so much 'glass' in a tank before but
then again, like all manufacturers, every part is on the
sprue and you only use what you needed for a specific
version of the model. So, I would not be surprised
with the amount of parts left over once the model is
completed. In other words, model like these are a
boon for those kitbashers.

I am very pleasantly surprised
at the kind of detail and moulding
technology from AFV. Just take
a look at the mortar. Its round and
usually, you need to glue to halves
to get it to look like that. Years ago,
apart from Bandai, I have never
seen other manufacturers being
able to do such moulding.

Now, this is the reason why I chose this model. The
assembly diagrams shows that the bottom half of
the model is not a complete piece but rather, made
up of two sides of the tracks and lots of flat sheets to
make up the bottom shell. This means I can now just
use the completed tracks on its own.

Another reason is these 'springs' for the track/wheel
assembly which at first glance, it just a faux spring
suspension. Right?

Wrong. There are some metal springs which you need
to put over it. Now, since I have not built this model
yet, I cannot say for sure, how the tracks will behave
when the tank is placed over an obstacle and under
its own plastic weight. I would just have to bite the
bullet and hope that it is everything I hoped that
it would be.

That is, if I have the patience to assembly the individual
track links first...

And so, there you have it. a very nice model with a lot of 'realistic' parts. But knowing me, its not going to end up as what is should be but rather, another part for my alternative designs. But don't let my weird interest stop you from getting this model. This kit has a lot of detailed parts and especially with the individual tracks (you usually have to but them separately) and metal springs, thrown in, its a real bargain. Try it even if you don't do tanks.

Kristine's 1Murid 1Sukan

Today is Saturday and its a very special day for Kristine. This was because of the effects of "1Malaysia" which is now spreading to the schools. So, today is the "1Murid 1Sukan" and being a parent, I have absolutely no clue as to what its all about, except for some very complicated tasks that was relegated to me:

1. Ferry Kristine to and fro school
2. Make sure she has some newspapers too.
3. Run

I got lost after the 'ferry' part as my mind was more on planning to go to Pasar Road AFTER dropping her off. And so, this is going to be hard for me as I have stopped running since 24...

Both of us had to wake up very
early in the morning for this,
which is about 15 minutes earlier
than our usual routine.

Anyway despite all our prepartions, the school
was full of people by the time we arrived and I
had some trouble parking Vee-Chai. So, you
see many anxious and exited parents all over
the place with their mobilephones/cameras and

I took Kristine to the field outside where it was
less crowded. I am not sure if it was just me or
us, but I did feel very crowded and stuff in there.

A few minutes later, we walked to the Hall where the
morning assembly will begin. I can see that someone
was trying very hard to set up the LCD Projector and
its not very focus. Yes, I was tempted to walk over
and assist them, just to satiate my engineer side.
But in the end, no. I mean, everyone has their job to
do. Mine was to.. er... ah... run.

We went out again, only this time was because
we were bored. Also, I did not want to start any
arguments about people taking my seat, etc but
then, boredom is worse. So, we went out walking
for a bit before it was time...

... to start the assembly. Here, I was thankful for the
newspaper that Kristine brought. There was only so
much Mandarin I could understand.

Not only that, this also gave me the perfect
opportunity to try out the Panorama App
for the Nokia n8.
[Update: On the latest version, you can switch off the flash]

Finally, after the speech, the next thing I know was
that everyone has now gone out into the fields and
they were lining up according to their class.

No, they are not confused. Just waiting for more
instructions as there are a lot of people anxiously
waiting for things to happen. And I don't mean
the students.

Ok, finally, the speakers came to life after a few
false starts and everyone is warming up before
the run. Parents were so excited about all this,
they started to take photos and shouted. OK, so
I only took photos but I did not shout....

I was so engrossed with taking photos that I had
forgotten about Kristine. So, I had to look almost
everywhere because the students have started
their run! Oh no!

But it' s OK. She found me instead. This was the second
this year that she had to find me instead of the
other way

Seems like it was her class that was first in line
to start their run. So, we walked to the starting
line where the officials were making sure that
everything is under control...

This is very important because the parents are
actually more eager to get to the 'first' place. If
you do not believe me, just observe how they
drive on the roads every morning when they
drop off/pick up their kids.

And so, we're off!

OK, just for fun, we got a friendly lady to help
take pictures of ourselves. Man, I looked so fat!

The route of the run is a big circle round the school.
They have minders to help cordon off the main road
in case some people felt very hardworking and need
to come into their office on that morning.

Everyone was in high spirits and some of them
even ran with Kristine and encouraged her at
the same time too. Me? I was huffing and
puffing like a bad wolf...

And so, we ran and ran, having fun all the way.
Its lucky I did not trip and fell for taking so much
pictures of Kristine.

And speak of the... one girl actually fell and she was
hurt quite badly. All the girls that ran ahead
of us
were frantic, trying to calm the little girl and
looking for help since the nearest medical point

was quite far away. In the end, I helped carry her
while running since the other guy, was 'busy' with
his camera and running. And carrying a 16Kg girl
on your arms while running is asking for it... In the
end, she was safe while I huffed and puffed even
harder, like a bad wolf with asthma...

Anyway, since we were the first batch to start,
we were also the first batch to finish. With the
coupons, I quickly got Krsitine some food and
drinks plus some extra treats for her. Yes, by
now you would have realised that all parents
also had the same bright idea.

So, I told Kristine to quickly finish her meal so
that we do not need to use the seats for too long
as there are others coming back from the run
who will need them.

While waiting for the rest of the batch to finish, we
were once again required to return to the
hall. Here, Kristine met a very familiar

One thing I like about this place is that although
there were a mixed school, everyone is 'mixing'
together. But while waiting, the age old 'spin-
the-bottle' game was played which not only
drew the girls' attention but also the patrolling
teacher as well.

Finally, it was time to go home and
me being a banana, I did not realised
that Kristine won something from a
Lucky draw. Heck, I was in the Hall
for so long, I did not even realise that
there was a lucky draw... Still, as there
was nothing else for the day, we left
early, ahead of the maddening crowd...

We were lucky there. The reason was, since Kristine won a prize and she did ask her teacher permission to get off early, we were able to leave the place jam-free. If we were to wait along with the rest of the school, you can guess what kind of pandemonium would ensue. So, since the day is still 'early', I decided to take her for lunch at someplace 'special'...

So, as a treat, I took Kristine to Amcorp Mall so that
she can have her lunch at MacDonalds.

There was also a very good reason to go there as
there is the weekend bazaar plus I wanted to see
how Silver and his friend are doing with their new
toy store.

I let Kristine take her pick with the toy cars on display.

And my jaws dropped when I saw this.
I wanted this so badly last year but now,
with Kristine and Kaelynn's future, I just
cannot justify such purchase anymore...

Anyway, back at the RM5.00 per toy car purchase...

Yep, she chose one for herself and one for Kaelynn.
This is the reason for the sisterly hugs.

And so, for RM25 or more, each one of us had a car.

Why RM26 and not RM15? Because Kristine chose
the one with rubber tires which costs

Still, I am not complaining because if this keeps them
quiet for an hour or two, its a good price to pay.

I am happy too because at the end of the day, I did
not have to go to every shop to hunt down this BTTF
De Lorean which would have cost me more than RM5