Minister offers scale-model sets for charity

Minister offers scale-model sets for charity
ROLE MODEL: Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin with a scale-model soldier. Mr Tan has spearheaded an initiative called Kits for Kids, donating over 500 sets of scale-model kits to raise funds for youth at risk.

Those who know Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin are aware that he is passionate about building scale models of planes, tanks and soldiers.

Now, he is spreading this love for a good cause. He has donated more than 500 sets from his personal stash to raise funds for youth at risk, under a campaign called Kits for Kids.

In a Facebook post on Friday, he wrote: "Although money can be raised in many ways, this effort is about galvanising our community of modellers to contribute to society in a meaningful way."

When contacted by My Paper, he shared that this was a hobby he started in primary school.

"I find this hobby therapeutic. It's very much an art form, especially painting the figures," he said.

"How you blend the colours, paint in the shadows and highlights, and so on. And it is also about creativity in terms of how one builds parts of the model from scratch, using wire, plastic pieces, leftover items from other model kits."

It is also time-consuming.

Mr Tan noted: "The time spent on each kit varies. Much depends on the level of detail I go into...if I build details from scratch, it would take many hours longer.

"And it would include research time. But building out of the box would be much faster."

For example, he spent eight hours building a World War II French tank model, and another 48 hours adding details and paint.

Mr Tan has also called upon fellow enthusiasts to donate or buy spare scale-model kits, which will range from $5 to $150.

All proceeds will go towards running services and programmes for students at Students Care Service, a voluntary welfare organisation which helps youth at risk.

So far, another 100 sets of scale-model kits have been donated.

Scale-model enthusiast Sean Chua, 44, is planning to donate some of his collection.

Mr Chua, who works as a lecturer, said: "This event can help raise funds for students, and also raise awareness for this hobby...a scale model is not a toy, it is a replica of something in real life, and we can learn about history in the process. Behind every model is a story."

Rae Mok, community partnership manager at Students Care Service, noted: "I think it's encouraging that we have a community using its hobby to give back to society."

The Kits for Kids event will be held on July 12 and 13 at Kampong Ubi Community Centre.

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