Wow. You're really digging into this issue
(1) Didn't see confirmation either way, so wanted to check again: Do you have Net Framework 3.5 installed as well as per this link?
NetFramework 3.5 was included with win7 (win7users are not having this issue in general AS experienced by Win 8 + users), and not with Win 8 onwards.
(There is the odd Win7 and older user with a crash, but the manifestation and symptoms of the crash is quite different than Win 8 plus OS.)
(2) Agreed. Model itself doesn't seem probable origin of cause.
(3) Part of me worries that it's related to a OS software architectural change in procedural handling.
For example, something along these lines to make Metro work properly (CTRL-F for "TIR") >> http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2...-graphics.aspx
(4) I wish I could provide you with an instant recipe for animation assistance.
I can provide you though with these links: (Important note: did not make time to test these, but I did enough reading that I feel fairly confident this should be the best and uptodate animation info on TWC.)
IF ANYONE knows of better links, or better process, please share