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PostPosted: Thu 18 Apr 2013 23:55 pm 
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This build review follows on from the ATF in-box review of the Airfix 1/72 Avro Lancaster B.III Dambuster (A09007) which is to be found here.

So, making a start, the first build stage is to attack the bomb bay with a knife, in order to remove the rear parallel bar in the centre section of the bomb bay. In the spirit of following the instructions, I tried cutting this away, and started to come to wonder whether the intent was to cause enough injury that you couldn’t proceed further with the kit. The main reason for attempting cutting it away are that the instructions show the completed part as having the two bumps just aft of this line still in place. However, after looking more closely at the rest of the assembly, I noted that the reason it must be removed is so that it does not get in the way of the rear fairing. As a result, anything aft of the removed parallel bar will not be visible. So, my recommendation here is do not use a knife, but sand it until flush. Do not worry about damage to the rear of this section as a result, as long as you keep the immediately adjacent parallel bar intact. This is what you should end up with:

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Moving on to step 2, there’s no real issue here, but if you detach the parts from the sprue and get confused, study the instructions. The plate with the cuboid protrusion faces outward, at the end of the bomb-bay that has the protruding section.

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Moving on to step 3, we attach the wing mainspars to the interior floor. One of these fits rather tightly, the other not so much, but be sure to sand away the excess plastic from where they were joined to the sprue, as the assembly method leads me to suspect that getting these correctly fitted and parallel will make the difference between a good build and a great build. Now, two important notes:

#1. A test fitting shows that getting parts B6 and A4 through their respective slots in the fuselage is VERY tight. While the instructions call out for Humbrol 33 here, don’t bother, as it will at least cause more difficulty, and will most likely also get stripped off in step 12.
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#2. DO NOT test fit part B6 (the rear spar) with the fuselage without first reading the warning for step 12 later in this post.

Continuing on with step 3, note that the interior floor call out is Humbrol 78, but leaping forward to step 12, the front end is Hu33. Depending on your preferences you may wish to do that now before putting the instrument panel and pilot’s platform/seat in place.

For steps 4-10, I’ve little to add. These were mostly straight forward. I skipped step 6 (the pilot), as I couldn't think of a reason why he'd be in there on his own. If the kit came with an openable door, you could position the rest of the crew standing outside while he checked something in the cockpit however. Also worth noting is that in step 5, the callout is for Hu62 (leather brown). The detail on the kit here means that this cushion will benefit with a dark wash to bring it out.

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In step 10, the instrument panel decal will need treatment to get it to settle down (see end of this post to see it in place). The new Humbrol Clear should do the job if you haven’t a preferred product already.

In step 11, I was a little worried about the windows and protecting them for the rest of the build. Having known I’d be getting this kit since Ratch posted the “first look” photos, I’ve had some time to think about this, and decided that I’d try coating the outer surfaces with Humbrol Maskol.

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Meanwhile I painted the interior Hu78 and Hu33 as per the callouts. I also highlighted some areas with a mix of Hu11/Hu33, partly so that you could see them. Note that I decided to do both fuselage halves simultaneously for convenience, though it’s step 20 before we need to paint the other half. Anyhow, having done that, I added the decal for step 20 as below, before adding the Maskolled windows. Don't forget to drill out the 2 holes each side of the bomb-bay however.

Image

Moving on to step 12, first, referring back to step 3 you’ll note in the picture below the additional callout for Hu33 that has suddenly appeared now at the forward end of the floor. Then we have to attach the parts...

Be VERY careful here. Part B6 (the rear spar), has two weak points where parts D17 and D18 (the undercarriage framing) will fit in step 22.

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DO NOT use brute force in this step, or the part will bend and then snap. Instead, start by carefully inserting part B6 through the slot, holding it as close to the fuselage slot as you can in order that no stress is put on the weakpoints indicated by the arrows above. Once you have got both weakpoints through, feed the forward spar through, and alternate until the bomb-bay floor is flush against the fuselage.

Image

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Anyhow, that’s where I’ve got to so far, and there’ll be more to follow tomorrow. Enjoy.
James

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Edited to add kit code for search purposes - Paveshadow, 22/04/13

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Last edited by PaveShadow on Mon 22 Apr 2013 23:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri 19 Apr 2013 01:15 am 
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Good tutorial James :thumb:

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PostPosted: Fri 19 Apr 2013 09:54 am 
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Thanks James, this is extremely useful.

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PostPosted: Fri 19 Apr 2013 11:13 am 
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Following with interest.

Kepp up the good work

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PostPosted: Fri 19 Apr 2013 12:38 pm 
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Good review so far, I like how parts A4 and B4 also look like they are used to support the wings. Not having built A Lancaster yet, I don't know if any of the other kits have it.

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PostPosted: Fri 19 Apr 2013 13:13 pm 
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Very good. I´m watching. :snack:

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PostPosted: Fri 19 Apr 2013 13:28 pm 
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Watching with great interest

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PostPosted: Fri 19 Apr 2013 19:14 pm 
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Thank you very much :clapping:

I wonder if the wings will be removable after you complete them.

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PostPosted: Fri 19 Apr 2013 19:25 pm 
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This sounds wonderful and I must have one but Airfix still need to think about tolerences more as the parts of this kit sound way too tightly fitting for many people to cope with and the dodgy Dambuster bomb bay modification should have been a second bomb bay/floor part.

David.

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PostPosted: Fri 19 Apr 2013 20:10 pm 
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Looking good. Taking note of your warnings as well should I get one of these in the future.

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PostPosted: Sun 21 Apr 2013 17:50 pm 
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Nice Start James

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PostPosted: Sun 21 Apr 2013 18:43 pm 
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Thanks all, and apologies for the delay. Unfortunately I was detained elsewhere so things aren't quite on my planned schedule. I'm also unable to drive for a while, which means I won't be able to pop out to replenish paint stocks. (Time for mail order I think). Anyhow, I've got a bit further today, so will write it up and post it shortly. In the meantime, I thought I'd take some time to respond to some of your comments.

worapol1988 wrote:
I wonder if the wings will be removable after you complete them.

Definitely not if you follow the instructions. As you'll see soon, the internal structure of the main gear bays protrudes through the wing, which would prevent you sliding them off.

lancfan wrote:
...but Airfix still need to think about tolerences more as the parts of this kit sound way too tightly fitting for many people to cope with and the dodgy Dambuster bomb bay modification should have been a second bomb bay/floor part.
David.

I'd agree on the tolerences David, and in some areas this has caused me some further struggle. The bomb bay modification on the otherhand is actually very easy, taking maybe 20 seconds with an emery board. The issue I had with it was the way it's handled on the instruction sheet rather than anything else.

Anyhow, I'll get back to writing it up, and hopefully post some more for you all to see later tonight
James

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PostPosted: Sun 21 Apr 2013 20:29 pm 
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Moving onwards then, the next stage was to correct an error I made earlier in that I missed the forward window in step 11 (part H12). I found this quite a difficult fit. However, it needs to be done before you reach step 13, where we fit part C32 (the bomb sight). After that, in step 14 we start the assembly of the navigator’s and wireless operator’s stations. Note that the instructions callout for part D14 to be painted mostly Hu78. However, the reverse side should have some black on it as well, where the decal will go. Effectively, you want a black rectangle, the width of the lower section of the part, up to the upper slot where part D22 will fit in step 15. This can be seen in the next photo. Also in step 15, we apply the decal for the map, before adding the part to complete the table in step 16. I’m not sure what the console represents on part D21 – if someone here identifies it as being part of the H2S system, you’ll need to remove it depending upon the variant you are building. Anyhow, with the table complete, we insert it in step 17. Again, I struggled a little to get it correctly located, as it’s a snug fit. However here’s a couple of views:
Image
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In step 18, we assemble the Vickers machine gun and it’s special hatch. Remember that these parts are unique to ED825 (option A), so if you are modelling any other Lancaster you won’t need them. This is reflected in step 18 where the instructions tell you to use part C10 if you are building option B. Also in step 18, we add three downward facing lights to the rear fuselage. There is no indication for colour callouts here, but they looked to me rather like the downward facing identification lights carried on other aircraft, so I opted to paint them clear amber, red and blue inside, before coating that with first Hu11 silver and then Hu78 to match the rest of the interior. Note that this was a guess, so don’t take it as definitive. Anyhow, that’s one side of the fuselage done.
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In step 20, we complete the other side, which is straight forward enough. I used the same techniques here as previously described including putting Maskol on the windows. Again, I struggled a little with the forward window (part H13), but was soon able to start step 21, where we fit the fuselage sides together. This was really tight, and I was left with a 3mm gap just ahead of the cockpit. The reason seemed to be that I’d let the instrument panel sit too vertically. Pushing it so that it inclines backwards slightly helped solve the problem, but even then I needed some superglue to hold the gap closed, and there was a slight ridge the length of the upper fuselage. I think another contributory factor here may be the interiors of the main spars not having sufficient space once the interior of the fuselage has some paint on it.
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Once that was done, I could move onto assembling the main gear bays. I completed steps 22 and 23, working from the fuselage side outwards. Once done, I painted the assembly and spars black as per the instructions.
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In step 24, the aft-ends of the bays are added, again in black.
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And now we are ready for the wings. These were painted Hu78 and black as per the instructions. Glue was applied everywhere the wing structure will connect to the wings, and at the end in order to ensure a good bond to the fuselage.
Image

In step 27, we fit the landing lights to the inside of the lower wing. Note that these are not just round blobs, as the hinges are included as part of the clear moulding. This means that they will only fit one way round, so if they don’t fit they need to be rotated. Before fitting them, I applied Maskol to the outer surfaces, and painted the inner surfaces Hu11 Silver.
Image

Then we can fit the lower wings to the rest of the assembly so far. To do so, apply the glue to the inside of the lower wing, that way you won’t accidentally put a trail of glue across the back edge of the flap area of the upper wing. Once again, the fit is a little tricky here. You need to get the wheel bay recess around the wheel bay, and just keep pushing it down. You soon reach a point where you think that there is no way it can be right, but if you keep on going you’ll hear a very positive click and everything snaps into place. I was a bit surprised by this, but it was the same for both sides. Even then though, I still needed a bulldog-clip each side to ensure the leading edge stayed closed around the inner engines.
Image
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And that takes us to the end of step 29. Next up will be the horizontal tail planes and the engine nacelles, followed by fitting the flaps.
Thanks for looking
James

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PostPosted: Mon 22 Apr 2013 20:35 pm 
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PaveShadow wrote:
. I’m not sure what the console represents on part D21 – if someone here identifies it as being part of the H2S system, you’ll need to remove it depending upon the variant you are building.

It is indeed the H2S boxes :wink:. The Gee box was mounted on the left of the table and a lot of other gubbins was underneath.

Quote:
Also in step 18, we add three downward facing lights to the rear fuselage. There is no indication for colour callouts here, but they looked to me rather like the downward facing identification lights carried on other aircraft, so I opted to paint them clear amber, red and blue inside, before coating that with first Hu11 silver and then Hu78 to match the rest of the interior.

They are the identification lights, and are also the reason that the rear portion of a Lancaster H2S blister is left clear.

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PostPosted: Mon 22 Apr 2013 23:08 pm 
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Thanks Ian, I was hoping someone might be able to confirm. As a result, I’ve now removed the H2S console from my build (for anyone in doubt, that would be the part of D21 that is to be painted Hu33 in step 16).

The next step was assembly of the tail planes in step 30 to 34. If you are in the habit of removing multiple items from the sprue at once, note the circle outboard which will help you identify the upper surfaces, and the recess on part B9, which will later assist in locating the tailwheel. The instructions for steps 30 and 32 call for Hu78 on the locating tabs. These are very nicely designed to overlap, and ensure the tail surfaces stay horizontal. However, this means you don’t actually have to paint the inner surfaces, as they’ll be hidden once interlocked, and if you do miss a bit, you can reach some of it later through the rear turret access hatch.
On step 31 and 33, you attach the elevators (parts A1 and B10). You could glue them, but so far I’ve not bothered. If possible they’ll stay that way and I’ll report back once the build is done as to whether this is a good idea or not. So, this is what you should have now
Image

In step 34 we insert the tailplanes into the fuselage. It’s a tight fit, certainly, and you need to watch to ensure that the elevators have a matching amount of space each side from the fuselage. However, as previously stated the design of the kit ensures a good position once done. Again, I kept the elevators clear of glue in case I wish to position them up or down later.
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In step 35, we prepare the rear end of the radiators. The instructions call for Hu33 and Hu56 here. Having done that, I gave the grilles a coat of Klear mixed with some Hu33 in oder to bring out the detail.
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In step 36, we attach the resulting assembly to the port side of the engine nacelle. I wasn’t entirely sure how this would work from the instruction sheet, so here’s a photo to aid in positioning:
Image

Now we attach the other side of the nacelle.
Image

However, as we are about to reach step 38, I find a problem. The edges of nacelles around the radiator exhaust need to be painted Hu33 before you add part F9, otherwise you’ll not be able to reach them. Part F9 also needs to be painted Hu33 before you fit it. Upon realising this, I painted the relevant areas for all four engine nacelles.
Image

Moving onto step 39, we attach the exhaust shrouds. I was particularly interested in this step, as I was hoping that Airfix would provide the shrouds in such a way that they’d fit over the exhausts (which after all are also in the kit). While that’s not the route they’ve taken, the shrouds are built up in such a way that they look like the exhausts are there. However, in this step, I got a few surprises. First of all, test fitting showed that there is nothing to assist in locating the shrouds. The exhausts/locating stubs don’t actually fit into anything. In addition, there is no paint callout, yet this area will be totally inaccessible with a paint brush. So, I painted the entire area that will be covered by the exhaust using Hu33, and the stubs inside the shroud were painted a dirty metal colour (e.g. Hu56).
Image

Test fitting also revealed another problem. While I was able to fit part F20, part F18 looked wrong, as the stubs were not aligned horizontally but almost 45 degrees upwards. I switched F18 with F17, and things looked much better. After that, I added the intakes F1 and F4, which went on with no issues. The process was then repeated for steps 41 to 45, producing the second nacelle.
Image

The next steps will be building the main undercarriage nacelles. As part of this I’ll need to confirm the result of swapping parts F18 with parts F17.
More to come soon.
Thanks
James

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PostPosted: Mon 22 Apr 2013 23:24 pm 
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James, a bit late to be of help for the assembly, but you might find the pics here of use.

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PostPosted: Tue 23 Apr 2013 20:52 pm 
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Thanks Paul. The reference photos have been most useful. Though they are modern examples, I’ve also been comparing them to photos in Lancaster at War by Mike Garbett and Brian Goulding. This has enabled me to check such things as the paint scheme for the undercarriage legs hasn't been altered, and then use the better modern colour photos to see the detail.

Tonight I’ve made the remaining engine nacelles, starting at step 46 and finishing at step 52. The methodology is very similar to the previous two nacelles. However, in step 50 the interior of the undercarriage by is painted Hu33. Part D10 was also painted as per the instruction sheet., with a couple of items being painted black for contrast.
Image

In step 51, I added the engine shrouds. As noted for steps 39 and 44, part F18 was replaced with part F17. In step 51 this left me with parts F18 and F19. Test fitting revealed that F18 and F20 are both designed to go on the starboard side of the nacelles, and parts F17 and F19 go on the port sides. So, the instructions should probably read F20 and F19 for use in steps 39 and 44, and F18 and F17 for use in step 51.

Once they were built, the nacelles were joined to the kit as per steps 53 to 55. In step 53, note that although the two nacelles are identical, I found through test fitting that one nacelle wanted to pop out on one side, but that both nacelles fitted fine when I swapped them around.
Image

Steps 56 and 57 are for building the kit wheels up, so I skipped them. Unfortunately step 56 requires cutting the door opening arms away, so I wasn’t able to test fit the doors closed for the purposes of the review. Meanwhile I painted the undercarriage legs in preparation for steps 58 to 63.
Image

In step 58 we start assembling the undercarriage. The first step is slightly unusual, as you insert the undercarriage legs from the topside, affixing the legs to the main spar.
Image

In steps 59 and 60 we add the next set of struts. Locating these is rather difficult, as everything is painted black. However, they should stick out at about 45 degrees once located. While the glue is still setting, move immediately on to steps 61 and 62.
Image

In steps 61 and 62 we add the final 4 struts, which attach at three points. The reason for the rush is that you’ll need to set part C18 (from steps 59 and 60) at the correct angle to connect with the middle of part C1. The result should look like this..
Image

In step 63, we add the undercarriage doors. When doing so, be sure to check that none of the arms are bent, or they may miss their connection point on the undercarriage legs.
Image

That’s it for now. The next steps will be fitting the flaps.
James

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PostPosted: Wed 24 Apr 2013 08:01 am 
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Nice build review, thanks.
Can the turrets be fitted last to save masking?

What colours can be used for the inside of the flaps?
Can red/brown be used?
I've seen some aircraft that have a red/brown, primer type colour on the inside flap?
Might make an interesting contrast.

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PostPosted: Wed 24 Apr 2013 08:51 am 
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Cracking review build James,I'll look forward to having a go with mine. Thanks for pointing out all the tricky bits,it certainly looks like one kit that needs careful pre build study time? Nice job so far....Buzz

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PostPosted: Wed 24 Apr 2013 08:56 am 
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Ted, it would be better to ask those questions here :wink:

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PostPosted: Wed 24 Apr 2013 09:36 am 
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Great review, highly detailed and informative. I havn't built a Lanc for years, I really feel enthused reading this.

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PostPosted: Wed 24 Apr 2013 09:56 am 
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Quite wonderful. I think I'll make one without the Vickers. There is no way with my hamfistedness that it would survive till the end of the build.

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PostPosted: Wed 24 Apr 2013 14:23 pm 
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Nicely done u/c James :thumb:

out of interest, down at the Nanton Lancaster Museum in Alberta, they have a proper u/c test rig set up which shows just how the whole thing folds away, it's a 1:1 working rig and really quite interesting to watch.

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PostPosted: Wed 24 Apr 2013 14:34 pm 
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This is a really good,informative build James, well done. An observation though, I don't think the bomb sight should be fitted to a Dams aircraft, indeed some bomb aimers just drew marks on the transparency! I've bookmarked your build for when I get mine started.

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PostPosted: Wed 24 Apr 2013 22:36 pm 
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I was at Woodhall Spa this weekend and in the local museum Thorpe site I think- there was a copy of the bombsite used for the dam busters raid. It was three pieces of hinged wood with two nails projecting sideways! A makeshift piece of kit which worked apparently.
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