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Thread: Trumpeter 1:350 USS Essex Late WW2 Trim

  1. #136
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    Essex: More Painting

    I've reached the point where the ship has to wait for me to make some aircraft if I want any on dispay in the hangar. I've painted everything except the flight deck itself which I'll do when it's glued to the hull. I finished the island painting and it's ready for rigging. I also painted all the other bits and pieces. When painted, you really can't distinguish all the different 40mms. They just look like guns with small barrels.

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    At this magnificaton you can see differences especially with the wider-spaced kit guns. But they really will work when I make sure to not put different species within viewing distance of each other.

    I did have more range finder covers and fixed up the 5" twins before I painted them. I realized that the originals were knocked off when I was manhandling the mount to get them into PE base screens.

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    Technically, the top surfaces of the 5" twins and their base plates should be deck blue, but I'm having trouble actually seeing much difference between deck blue and navy blue. I paint them just because I have AMS.

    I finished the island 2nd coating all the white and back paint and white painting ad nauseum. I painted the "flat black" funnel top. The quotes indicate that the flat black didn't dry flat. I then overcoated it with Tamiya flat clear and it still wasn't flat. Then I overcoated that with Tamiya Rubber Black, and that sorta worked. I don't know what was going on.

    I painted all the gun barrels gun metal and the search light lenses with that amazing Molotow Chrome Pen that puts down absolutely reflective chome.

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    This shows the "almost flat" black funnel.

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    I mounted the whale boat and the elevator in prep for attaching the flight deck. I put a 0.021" brass pin through the boat and into the hull since the PE cradles have almost zero surface area to glue the boat the hull. This way it will not come off.

    The elevator gave me some trouble. All that beautiful PE underneath was slightly wider than the spacing of the support structure and when I attempted to get the guide pins into the track, the PE at one edge started deforming and coming unglued from the elevator deck. I had to reshape and reglue it and trimmed a tiny bit of brass to help it clear. I then found that if I tried to push it to the bottom, it would deform more, so I set it at a mid-position and willl have an aircraft on it as it's moving to the flight deck.

    I also brush painted the entire hull with vertical strokes to make the hull look less pristine. I'm not sure I like the effect, but I didn't want to air brush it again since I had pulled all the masking. The inside looks terrific.

    This photo is a composite rather than a pan so I wouldn't get all the distortion. It's a really long ship!

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    I'll make a few aircraft for the hangar deck and then it will be a big deal day when the FD and hull are mated.

  2. #137
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    Essex: Small Airplanes

    Short and Frustrating session...

    The Rift attacks again. There are two PE screens that sit on the outer edge of the flight deck next to the 5" twins that are mounted directly on the deck. You have to fold them in half which gives the impression that there's a real structure under the screening. They replace a plastic molded curved bump on the flight deck edge. GMM would have you just CA it edgewise to the deck and this would hold about 15 seconds or less, so I soldered two 0.021" brass pins to the screen, measured their separation with a divider and transfer that the deck edge. Drilled it will the same sized carbide drill, and then inserted and CA'd the pinned screen to the deck. This is viewed from the ugly underside of the deck.

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    So that one worked perfectly. When I went to insert the second one (there are two 5" Twin Mounts fore and aft at the extremes of the island) and it slipped straight down from my fingers as I was trying to coax it into the two small holes... and then it just DISAPPEARED! Gone! Swept and searched and searched and it was gone and I really can't scratch build another. There is no possible explanation for its disappearance then to blame it on slipping dimensions into the Quantum Rift. I worked 15 minutes and searched for a half hour. Not a productive use of my time.

    I gave up looking for it, and went back to building small airplanes for the hangar deck. I put together one Hellcat yesterday and lost one landing gear. Today and I built another Hellcat and lost ANOTHER landing gear. So I decided to scratch build a tiny landing gear so it would sit correctly. It's going in the hangar so it won't be THAT visible.

    I used some of the same 0.021" brass wire and measured the wheel at 0.088". I had some 0.080" half-round styrene which I glued together to make a whole-round styrene rod. I then sliced off a piece to be a wheel. It works considering that the entire plane, minus the tires is going to be glose sea blue (late War naval aircraft scheme). Pardon the bad close-up focus.

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    I also put togher one TBF Avenger without any drama, and one Dauntless. If I want to use the Dauntless in the hanger, I'm going to have to figure how to fold the wings since the model of this particular plane doesn't have a two-part wing like the other twos have.

    It's the weekend so no more work.

    It was funny. I lost one of the landing gear out of my fine needle nose Xuron pliers. When it went "Pwang!" it actually hit the palm of my left hand which gave me a clue about energy-level and trajectory, and I found it on the floor. Five seconds later, in the same tool, it went "Pwang"! again, only this time I had no idea of where or how far it went and it was gone along with the other landing gear and the flight deck screen. I literally spent more time looking for microscopic crap than actually building anything today. And I have to go to the LHS to pick up some sea blue to paint these things. These little planes are now a bottleneck on the critical path since I can't button up the flight deck with these planes inside.

    I ordered and recieved a set of two airbrushes from Amazon. These are Chinese and getting two for around $35 was an offer I couldn't pass up. My faithful Badger XF-150 is many years old and has been rebuilt by Badger. Badger has a lifetime warranty and will rebuild their high line brushes. It was a good thing! I'm keeping the Badger as an active air brush. The new pair includes a medium gun with a suction feed (like the Badger) and a fine-line top-feed gun. I wanted a top-feed gun for doing detail work. Now I have three. On a job like the Essex, having multiple guns with different colors loaded will be helpful.

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    The new guns, although a little less refined than the Badger, are nicely made including additional nozzles and needles for additional sizes and will do well for my use.

    To drive three airbrushes required a manifold. Incidentally, that Badger diaphram compressor dates back to 1977, so it's done yeoman duty. No complaints. I have a moisture trap, but having it sideways I think is probably not doing it any good.

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    I was able to source that at Amazon too. It has one inlet and three outlets. They use 1/4" threads with knurled nuts with O'rings so you don't need a wrench to make an air-tight connection. I also needed four hoses. My Badger hose uses an atypical 5.0mm fine thread on both ends so it needed replacement. I needed to get a 5.0mm/1/4" adaptor to connect the Badger brush inlet to the rest of the system. And I needed another adaptor from the compressor's 1/2" female pipe-threaded outlet to the 1/4" hose fitting. So I now have four hoses connected to three airbrushes. I moved my airbrush holder to my roll-around auxiliary work table and I'm going to mount the manifold onto it and use a single hose from the compressor to the manifold. This will greatly increase my air brush reach.

    Next thing is a new compressor which I'm buying after we return from a trip to New Mexico celebrating our 50th anniversary. Again, there's a Chinese twin cylinder compressor and reservoir available for a bit over $100. While I'm not over-joyed about buying Chinese air brushes when Badger still makes some of their's in the USA, I know for a fact that almost everyone's compressors are made in China. This includes Badger and Pasche, and they upcharge their compressors, but when you look closely, they're all the same product. My current aging compressor has no reservoir which means it's running continuously as I'm spraying, and has no pressure regulator which really reduces my ability to spray different materials effectively. I'll keep y'all posted on how this all works.
    Last edited by Builder 2010; 31 Mar 18, at 04:11.

  3. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by Builder 2010 View Post
    If I want to use the Dauntless in the hanger, I'm going to have to figure how to fold the wings since the model of this particular plane doesn't have a two-part wing like the other twos have.
    The Dauntless didn't have folding wings. They were winched up into the overhead when stored in the hanger deck. There is a pic in the Detail and scale book

    Next thing is a new compressor which I'm buying after we return from a trip to New Mexico celebrating our 50th anniversary. Again, there's a Chinese twin cylinder compressor and reservoir available for a bit over $100. While I'm not over-joyed about buying Chinese air brushes when Badger still makes some of their's in the USA, I know for a fact that almost everyone's compressors are made in China. This includes Badger and Pasche, and they upcharge their compressors, but when you look closely, they're all the same product. My current aging compressor has no reservoir which means it's running continuously as I'm spraying, and has no pressure regulator which really reduces my ability to spray different materials effectively. I'll keep y'all posted on how this all works.
    I recently bought a new one. And its working like a champ. Here is what I said on the random thread. About $180 at Lowes

    http://www.worldaffairsboard.com/sho...=1#post1032215

    The other day I was finishing up a model and my compressor went out. Have been using a porter cable pancake compressor. But after 12 years between job sites and model building it finally gave up.

    Because of the noise, I was restricted to painting either in the basement or outside. Decided that I wanted a dedicated model compressor so I could paint in the house. Already have another one for the nail guns.

    Then i saw the prices. Highway robbery. Then did some shopping around. Picked out another work size compressor and couldn't be happier. Got a Kobalt Quiet tech with a 4.3gal tank. Its rated at 60 Decibels
    which is about normal speech levels. Standing next to it when its running you can carry on a conversation without raising your voice!

    I'm happy, using it in the house and more important the wife is happy. She says she hears less noise in the house then the old one when it was running in the garage. And we all know "Happy Wife, Happy Life"

    If I was doing finish work This is the compressor I'd be using.
    Its called Tourist Season. So why can't we shoot them?

  4. #139
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    Compressors

    First time I saw that "random" thread. OMG... that really runs the gamut.

    Did not know about the fixed wings on the SBD. That answers the question why Trumpeter didn't include them. It would be fun to hang one from the ceiling. When I saw those pictures I thought that's how they stored extra air frames, but that might have been the "regular" way SBDs were stored.

    I looked at your compressor on Lowes website. It's really quiet. I like that it has a lot of reservoir capacity and that it's on wheels. I think that the actual compressor mechanism is very similar to this one,

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    I suspect that the same Chinese company makes all of these products, that, or they copy like crazy from one another. This one would not be quite as quiet as the Kobalt due to the added shrouding the Kobalt has, but they're going to be close. It has a smaller reservoir, but for air brush you don't need the reserve you need to a nail gun. More importantly, it's $106 versus $179. I made the mistake of telling the CinC that I was looking at a compressor that only cost $106. When I mentioned the Kobalt at $180, she asked, "So what happened to the $106?" Hard to answer that question since the smaller one would definitely serve my purposes and is light years better than what I have now. I should learn to keep my mouth shut.
    Last edited by Builder 2010; 31 Mar 18, at 16:32.

  5. #140
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    Essex: Little Airplanes

    Happy Saturday Session...

    I've said it before... I'm not patient, but I am persistent. My screwups are usually due to rushing or moving too fast. These little 1:350 planes are a typical example. The trouble I had yesterday was building them one at a time, not waiting for the solvent cement to really set, and then forcing parts to stay together with CA so I could keep going. Today, I took a different tack and it worked nicely. I'm building the rest of the planes (and more to come since I've ordered more Hellcats and some Corsairs from my LHS today) in assembly line fashion, fastening a single part on each, moving to the next while the first sets up and so on. It worked nicely. I'm building three more Avengers, three more Dauntlesses and the last two Hellcats. One of the Avengers' props is missing a blade in the sprue so that's going to be under repair in the hangar.

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    This technique was especially important on getting the wing roots and those very small-glue-area tailplanes to stay put and aligned. I should of thought of this yesterday and would have had a much less frustrating day. That PE flight deck screen is still in the Rift and hasn't returned to this dimension, but I'm keeping an eye out. It's not on the critical path and I'm may attempt to figure a way to scratch build one. As soon as I build one, the real one will show up.
    I bought some Vallejo AV Dark Sea Blue which I'm going to try in my new detail airbrush. I'm also returning some AK Special Acrylic Solvent since it appears to be completely incompatible with Life Color Paints (for Tamiya I use straight Iso Alcohol). It was separating like unmixed salad dressing. I scrapped that batch and used Testor's Universal Acrylic Thinner which worked perfectly.

    I also bought some Vallejo Dark Gray Wash. I usually use India Ink/Isopropyl Alcohol mix to do fast weathering/aging, but I'm out of India Ink and thought I'd give a commercially prepared product a try. I report on how it works.

    On Monday I'll get all the planes (I have) done, but probably won't attempt painting them until Tuesday based on that "glue drying" thing I discussed at the top of this post. And then Vallejo acrylic needs a good 24 hours to dry before handling and decalling. I'm going with a solid dark sea blue scheme which is what the Navy did later in the war. I don't know if the Dauntlesses did this. Speaking of Dauntlesses, I was told by one of my readers yesterday that they didn't have folding wings and were stored hanging from the hangar deck ceiling. Perhaps I'll do that, but the ceiling has no detailing and I may not want to call people's attention to that.

  6. #141
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    I use Vallejo Model Air almost exclusively. Love them.

    For your airwing, since you have Corsairs coming (Essex was the first large CV to use them) It would be when Airwing -83 was aboard. Which ties in with your cammo scheme. You should have TBM-3s Avengers(VT-83) SB2C Helldivers (VB-83)
    F6f Hellcats (VF-83) and F4u Corsairs (VBF-83) No Dauntless. By 1944 most of the SBDs had been replaced on carriers. Even the airwing before -83 , AG-4 had Helldivers. That would be VB-4, The Tophatters Now known as VF-14
    Its called Tourist Season. So why can't we shoot them?

  7. #142
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    Essex: More Odds and Ends

    Thanks Gun! That's good information.

    While I had a decent amount of time in the shop, I was doing lots of little punch list items that took a lot of time, but don't look like it. I finished up the planes that I currently have. Even with my program of letting the solvent cement dry thoroughly, I was still having landing gear and horizontal stabilizers fall off due to the very tiny glue surfaces. I also replaced several tiny tail wheels with some brass wire. I'd like to talk with some of the guys that put 70 or 80 of these little buggers on a flight deck and find out how they build Trumpeter tiny airplanes. I don't seem to remember having this much trouble on the SC-1 Seahawks on the Missouri, but they were Tamiya.

    With Gun's input I scrapped the SBDs. Stevens International was out of stock on the Helldivers. I'll get them before the project's over.

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    I tried my new Point Zero detail air brush to today for the first time and it worked very well. I cleaned it using Windex which was a suggestion by Brian Bunger who owns Scale Reproductions, Inc., my local hobby shop. I used Vallejo AV Dark Sea Blue. Even though it's supposed to be pre-thinned for airbrush use, I found it needed some additional thinning with Testor's universal acrylic solvent. The first coat covered the top surface. Tomorrow I shoot the bottom and re-coat any surfaces that need it. Trumpeter should have left the recessed panel lines off these tiny planes. Just because you CAN do something doesn't mean you SHOULD do something. Even in bigger scales panel lines can be very exaggerated. At this scale, when an inch is a bit under three thousandths of an inch, the panel lines would be 6" gashes in the skin. Most folks overdo panel line painting as well. Most modern American aircraft are built so precisely and maintained so well that the panel lines on the real planes are almost invisible. I probably should filled them before painting. Having said that perhaps I'll fill them after the paint dries.

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    The landing gear is so fragile that I broke loose several just attempting to stick the planes to the reversed masking tape. To ensure that the planes don't break loose when in the hangar or on the flight deck I'm going to pin them with brass wire and CA.

    Is there any way to paint the canopy frame lines on those tiny canopies? I've been thinking of painting some Scotch Magic Tape and cutting very fine little strips of it for the frame lines. I don't know of any other tape that would be thin enough to not look ridiculous.

    I finished up the radio towers adding the long ladder to one side and this tiny "radio wire spreader bar". No soldering here, used CA since the towers were painted.

    I detail painted the 5" guns and barrels of the 40mm. I scrapped the two 40mm mounts that had the broken barrels and made three more kit 40s that I'll add the PE tomorrow.

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    I also started building the frustrating Floater Net Baskets. Since these were not included in the kit, nor does GMM offer any positioning info, I'll have to rely on pictures to see where they go. Tamiya did include plastic baskets which were replaced one-for-one in PE. These are not very satisfying to build since they're very soft and fragile.

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    I'm ready to start rigging the island it's sitting the PanaVise on the work bench. I have a good drawing of the Intrepid's rig which should be close to Essex's.

  8. #143
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    Are you using Flow Improver with your paint?

    The first few times I sprayed Vallejo, I had problems with it and thinned it. Mentioned it on another forum and was advised to put a few drops of Airbrush Flow Improver in the cup first. Then add the paint. Don't mix it in the bowl just shoot it like that.
    Haven't had a problem since.

    I had the same problem with a Trumpy 1/350 helo. Never did figure it out. May be the plastic. Super glue/Tamiya extra thin and even tried straight MEK. Finally got it to hold long enough to get a coat of paint on it. Think thats what is holding it together.

    The birds and guns are looking good.
    Its called Tourist Season. So why can't we shoot them?

  9. #144
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    Is there a brand of flow Improver I should look for? And you don't mix it??? How does it work?

    I think it's their plastic. It melts under the solvent, but doesn't bond as well as it should.

    It's funny... Trumpeter doesn't really show you where the wing hinge is when gluing the wings in the folded position. If it wasn't for all the work I did on those wing hinges on the TBM-3, I probably would have glued them with the wing tips aligned. The hinge is in the middle...

  10. #145
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    Essex: Aircraft and Bow Detailing

    Another day of punch list items and odds and ends getting ready for the flight deck/hull joining.

    First up was painting the bottoms of the aircraft and fixing whatever landing gear broke off (again). Any that broke at this time were replaced with brass struts. Same went for tail wheels. In my other post of this topic one of my most prolific commenters noted that he too has trouble with Trumpeter and solvent cement. It could be something in their styrene compounding.

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    I went back and recoated any other areas that were thin. I painted the tires Rubber black and the inside of the cowling where and engine would be. Tomorrow I'll finish decorating them including decals and place them on the hangar deck.

    I made three more 40s and discarded the ones with broken barrels. I have two extra incase I screw anything up which I've been known to do.

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    While rooting around on the floor looking for another dropped part, guess what decided to come back from the rift: the brass screen. It was lying on the floor directly below where I was sitting. I predicted that it would appear so. Now... it may have been stuck underneath my chair (how it got there I don't know), but my theory holds. These things leave our dimension. It's especially common with metal parts. Until proven otherwise, I'm going to stick to the Rift theory. I swept this floor at least four times since that part got lost. I removed and moved everything within 100 sq ft of the "departure" and to have that part sitting right below where I'm sitting is more that weird. It's positively metaphysical. I immediately put it where it belongs on the other side of the island area on the flight deck edge. To take the picture, I just pointed the iPhone straight down.

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    I got back to preparing the hull by building the two cable reels that sit on the forecastle deck. I used some small diameter styrene tubing cut to the length of the PE cable stands middle width. I threaded one reel on a piece of 0.021" brass wire, CA the styrene spindle to this reel, added the second reel onto the other end and then clipped the wire with about 1/32" sticking out on each side. I then folded the PE frame up and over the axle stubs. I added CA to these joints so it wouldn't separate. I painted the drum a rope-tan color and Navy Blue for the frame. This was CA's to the deck.

    I then started to add some really cool details: the upper catwalks leading forward to sit under the flight deck's front edge. This is a fragile, long-fold item. I'm using a fairly elaborate Hold-n-Fold from the Small Tool Shop. I reversed the platen so the long edge was in the middle of the tool and then used the long blade that came with it. It's a razor sharp flat blade that lets you fold the entire object in one go.

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    GMM shows gluing this part under the FD, but I felt that I wanted more control over it since it has to slip over the massive flight deck supports and secures to the front bulkhead. There are doors at that bulkhead, which are not called out in either the Trumpeter instructions AND the GMM instructions, but they're shown in the set of Eduard instructions that I downloaded. Eduard shows some more details on that bulkhead including a door in the middle that leads out to a small platform and inclined ladder, but it's buried in the dark and will NOT be seen so I didn't attempt to put it in there. They also show a catwalk that wraps around from the gallery to the side of the hull and I didn't put that in either since I didn't feel like messing with it. Having just written that, I realize that I CAN scratch build it since I have some much railing left over from the Missouri and can cobble something together. I'll see how I feel tomorrow. All this PE was pre-painted the other day. There are two small galleries that hang on the lower extreme corners of the flight deck front bottom. GMM includes these short ones for the Essex and short hulled ships of the class, and a long one (and different side galleries) for the long-hulled variety. You have to be careful to read the instructions and follow the etched call-outs on the PE frets.

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    I have to get those front lower railings in place now, and will experiment with adding more stuff around that front corner.

    We're getting ready to leave for New Mexico for our 50th Anniversary (2nd Honeymoon?) so tomorrow will be my last report for a week and a half. Like building a house, the big parts go together pretty quickly and the small detail stuff seems to last forever, but that's our hobby, and it's especially true with large ship models.

  11. #146
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    Was chatting with some friends tonight. Was thinking about the problem you were having with gluing the wheels to the aircraft body. Would Weldon adhesive work on polystyrene? Or how bout that glue that works with a UV light?

    Something like this. Or maybe you have a UV glue already?
    https://www.amazon.com/RapidFix-UV-P.../dp/B00QSA77NE

  12. #147
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    No... don't have any... yet. That's a great idea (UV) and I'm going to order some. You can't use it where the light can't penetrate so it can't be used in laminations for example, but that limitation doesn't apply in this case.

  13. #148
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    Since you're building an Essex, I finally pulled this out and found all the parts. Started building this in my teen years back in the 80's, never finished it, was meant for RC. I used Ed Wiswesser plans which now I know are not that accurate, I think. All of the white metal fittings I bought from Floating Drydock. They would raise the CG to high for running the model. The scale is 1/16 and the model is 53 inches long. Model was knocked off the shelf by a crazy cat we had, so there is some damage. Loved the Essex class, maybe someday will finish as a display model. Anyway, pictures follow, hope you don't mind....

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  14. #149
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    More...

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    Last batch.

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