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Thread: Trumpeter 1:350 USS Essex Late WW2 Trim

  1. #76
    Resident Curmudgeon Military Professional Gun Grape's Avatar
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    These photos show no 40mm sponsons added starboard aft

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    Its called Tourist Season. So why can't we shoot them?

  2. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Builder 2010 View Post
    Gun, this was the last pic in the NavSource Essex page. They said it was drawn by the Russians. It shows the five extra 40 mounts. Here's an annotated version.

    Attachment 45318

    You can make out the words "Essex" in Cirilic. They may have been referring to the class, not the specific ship... perhaps.

    The Essex did not get the doubling of the bow and stern tubs, but it may have gotten these extras on the sides.
    Read the last part of the annotation next to the picture on the NavSource site

    Essex herself, however, carried her original five lattice radio masts through the entire war and had no more than eleven 40-mm mounts: one on the bow and one on the stern, one on each 5" sponson, two on the (never fitted) hangar deck catapult's port side extension, three on the island and two on the starboard quarter.
    SO she didn't get any of the circled mods
    Its called Tourist Season. So why can't we shoot them?

  3. #78
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    Essex: Island Mods Start

    Nope... she didn't. In fact, I'm not sure she got the aft str'b sponsors either. The pictures show none of them. Here's some pictures that also definitely show that they didn't get those port side ones under the island. That Russian drawing was of another of the class. Essex also didn't get the doubled tubs under the bow and stern.

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    So I'm not going to add any more 40s, and I am going to take away one in front of the flag pilot. And I decided after looking at the plastic to make the modifications to make it a late island. At first I thought that since I had already glued it all together, I couldn't make this change, but after studying the images and then the island I said, "what the heck! It's styrene. I can fix it."

    In order to cut out the flag pilot cabin to move it forward, I needed to cut the island below so the saw could reach it. I didn't want to destroy the flag pilot front due to the porthole detail. I also had to remove all the galleries and platforms surrounding this area since all of this is changed and actually simplified.

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    Saw cuts, even using thin razor saws do leave a kerf and remove material. They are also not perfectly sqaure. So I had to true up the edges and remove any underdeck bracing castings since these will be replaced new with the new galleries.

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    Notice the stiffening rib I installed in the island body and also in the chunk I took off. I needed this to keep the geometry intact now that the structural integrity has been disturbed.

    Here's the other side. I glued a piece of 0.010" styrene sheet to raise the top surface to replace what was chewed off by the saw. I trued up the flag pilot front and it's just sitting aligned where it will sit. There is a gallery platform that I've started to shape out of 0.020" styrene. The shape of the new gallery is a half-circle in front of the flag pilot. The gun director on the kit is actually too far back and will be moved during the mod. I'm actually doing what they did to the ship in the 1994 shopping.

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    The countersink bit was being used as a temporary support when fitting up, and it shows clearly how small all this is.

    This should be fun moving forward.

  4. #79
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    I am just amazed at the skills you guys have.

    In awe.

    Also in the photos from the low down on the aft starboard view....that is a crap ton of SB2Cs on board. Finally saw a Son of a Bitch 2nd Class at the Smithsonian last August. That thing was huge! I can appreciate the scale of this vessel for sure!
    “We had been hopelessly labouring to plough waste lands; to make nationality grow in a place full of the certainty of God… Among the tribes our creed could be only like the desert grass – a beautiful swift seeming of spring; which, after a day’s heat, fell dusty.”
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  5. #80
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    Essex: Island Mods Part 2

    Yes... that's a passel of Helldivers. You post made me go back and read about that plane. I never realize that it came after the Dauntless. And it had the same engine as the Avenger, the R-2600. And yes, Essex-class ships were big, although are dwarfed with the likes of the Gerald R. Ford.

    One correction, yesterday's line drawing was of the Intrepid's modified flag bridge. The image below it is of the Essex. There are some minor differences. Since I'm doing an Essex, I'm relying on the photograph for most of the guidance.

    Had a couple of hours today and got back into the island mods. I was at the LHS and got some more styrene needed for this model. I made the extended flag gallery which replaces the kit's gallery. I used an old ellipse template to give me the nicely shaped front edge. I used the precision sander to square the edge.

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    I measured this part with the flag cabin in its final resting place to get the size and placement of the galleries and where the cabin will glue to the platform. The Sharpie line shows where the cabin ends.

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    I then stared at the photo and realized that the platform in front of the pilot house also had to be extended AND the director tub that used to be on the pilot house roof, is now relocated cantilevered over the front of the pilot house windows. I cut off the existing gallery and created a shaped piece that's butt-glued to the new pilot house edge. I used solvent cement and then reinforced with some CA.

    That PE door was put on prematurely and got in the way of the sanding that followed, so I popped it off.

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    It was time to glue the main pieces together. I added some connecting strips to reinforce the mating edges. The joint came out pretty good, but a little sunken on the starboard side.

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    Instead of slathering on a bunch of Tamiya filler, I added some sheet styrene to build up the sunken portion and then attacked it with flat-pointed riffle file. If you not familiar with these, it's a file with curved ends allowing you to file a specific place without filling what's in front or behind.

    Tomorrow, I add the filler to bring those surfaces together. The port side joint was much better and a little filler with fix it all up.

    I made a small rooflet for the pilot house to cover that large hole left over from moving the director tub. I'll trim the curved edges tomorrow.

    Here's the structural work completed. The gallery rails will be 0.015" X .125 styrene strip which scales out to a little over 40" high which is just about right. It's thin enough so it will bend around all those contours. It will probably look better than the kit's molded rails.

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    It's going to all look okay once it filled and primed. I will replace that PE door before the railings go on. Incidentally, 1 scale inch in 1:350 scale is a tad less than 0.003" (a sheet of paper), so even .005" PE is over an inch and half thick in scale, which is heavy steel plate (armor).

  6. #81
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    Essex: Island Mods Part 3

    The day started with adding some filler at the various joints. After sanding it, I shot it with a bit of Tamiya gray primer to highlight any troubles and then sanding it again.

    I then added the gallery edge solid rails. I used solvent cement first and then touched it up with CA to ensure that it wouldn't break away. It came out okay so I added some 0.020" X 0.020" square styrene to simulate the underneath supporting ribs. In the prototype picture it shows the ends of the ribs and they appear as squares (to me). I originally was cutting them to length and then gluing them in, but realized that I could cut them long and clip them off with the flush cut cutters.

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    And here's what it looks like finished and waiting for PE and Paint.

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    I put this aside and then bit another bullet: building the brass main mast tripod/platform and radar supports.

    I traced the kit's mast top and cut it out of fairly thin brass stock using a jeweler's saw with a very fine tooth blade. I hand filed the edges to even them out. I drilled the main mast hole 1/16" and then the smaller radar mast with a #56 drill. The kit's legs are almost exactly 1/16" and the top mast is about 0.045" so I'm using a piece of 3/64" brass rod. Both rods will match the kit's closely.

    I then laid out the bottom ribbing to add substance to the assembly and, more importantly, provide a place where the back two angular posts are going to tie into the mast top. I cut the underpiece out of the same thinner stock, but thought it needed some more meat so I traced that piece and again using the jeweler's saw, cut this out. It's not pretty, but will be almost invisible since there's more PE trim/railings/support beams.

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    These two pieces were soldered together using the RSU using some silver bearing solder. I clipped a small piece and then flattened it with small hammer on a v-block. I used TIX flux and heated until it melted. I used the highest temp solder I have so this joint wouldn't re-melt when I solder more stuff on. I have three other heat range solders that I'll use ending with TIX to do any PE soldering on the assembly. It's sitting on a ceramic soldering pad from MicroMark. It's nice since it's very soft and you can use pushpins to hold parts in place while soldering.

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    So here's where we are now. I have to locate and drill the angular holes for the angle poles, make a jig to hold all the legs at the proper attitude while gluing. The GMM instructios for the lattice PE that goes in the middle has 1:1 drawings of the triangles making up the two platforms. I will be able to make a pyramidal wood block that will hold the legs properly for good soldering.

    There's a lip that goes around the after portion of the top that I make using the brass on the PE frets. It makes good stock for scratch-building small stuff out of brass.

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    I can also make those little triangular gussets and solder them also... or not, or use CA. I have options. Thinking about building this stuff is worse than actually getting down and doing it.

    This vintage Essex doesn't have the SK radar right above the main mast, it has a small dish with the SK mount on a lattice pole on the starboard side of the funnel. The GMM PE set has this lattice structure. In fact, in fact it has all the later mods in the radar suite for my choosing.

  7. #82
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    Essex: Tripod Mast Cont. (Part A)

    First up today was trying out the new pedestals that will support the ship when it's finished. I got these from TotalNavy.com which I found when I googled, "Model Ship Pedestals". They're turned brass and look good. For the Missouri's pedestal I bought a lamp finial at a lamp shop. It worked good except that it's an unusual thread and I had to get different hardware to hold it all together. This one's going to have big bolts going through. I'm going to reinforce the ship hull's bottom with some thicker plywood and epoxy the nuts in place to facilitate gettng it all together.

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    Then I got down to business of making and soldering the three legs of the tripod mast. Using the kit's tripod legs I cut pieces of solid 1/16" brass. The back legs are a slightly different length than the vertical middle leg. I needed to solder them at the proper angles. While there could be some minor adjustments, major shifts would break the solder joints.
    To figure out how to do all this, I first glued the kit's styrene parts together and temporarily glued them to the ship with white glue so I could measure the geometry. I measured the spacing of the lets at the mast top and laid out my soldered piece to locate these holes. Although the legs go backwards at an angle I drilled the holes straight on the drill press since drilling angular holes is a pain. Instead, I shaped the ends of the 1/16" brass legs do they set at the proper angle.

    I then soldered them with 60/40 rosin core solder which melted at a lower temp than the silver-bearing solder that I used yesterday to layer the mast top. After soldering the vertical, center leg, I used hemostats to act as heat sinks to prevent the previously soldered legs from unsoldering. Even with the RSU, when soldering to thick stuff, enough heat would soak to the others to remelt them.

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    After all three legs were in place I test fit the tower to the model and made minor adjustments to get the spacing dead on. One of the biggest tests of this geometry would be how well the PE lattice platform part would nestle into the tripod. So I decided it was time to dive into this very delicate PE work.

    The lattice platforms consist of three parts: the outside frame which gets folded twice sicne the middle bend is actuall a flat spot with two folds, the bottom platform with back rail and the top platform with its back rail. I use a large "hold-and-fold" from the Small Tool Shop, an essential tool if you're seriously going to do any PE work.

    I thought about soldering this, but frankly, it's too delicate to get any kind of soldering tool anywhere near this assembly so I used CA. At the Scale Reproductions Inc, on Tuesday, I asked Brian Bunger (one heckuva model builder in his own right) about how he handles PE so it doesn't stick to his tweezers more than the work. His secret... he uses thick CA since it cures much more slowly, allows more working time, has more innate tackiness, and won't glue to the tools as easily. I tried it, AND IT WORKS!.

    Here's the lattice platform waiting for the next step. The platforms had to wedge into the "V" created by the outside lattice. So far, I'm very happy with GMM's PE. It's etched on 0.006" stock which is a bit thicker than AM-Works. And it's not breaking at the bend lines. That's critical to keeping one's modeling mental health.

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    Then I had to fit this into the crotch of the tripod mast. It took a bit of fittings, adjusting the legs, more fitting until finally the legs contacted the lattice platforms evenly. I had to break on leg loose and resolder it to a slightly wider stance after I reached it elastic limit.

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    The wedge-shape reinforcing brackets that go under the mast top, were located on the standard set of GMM PE. I bought both sets: standard Essex and Special Essex. The lattice platforms were in the special set, but the top brackets were in the standard set. I glued them on, and then decided to ACTUALLY read the instructions. There was a tiny gap cut in the upper edge of the bracket which I wondered what it was for. It was to drop on top of the main yards stays which is all part of a single PE part. So I had to rip them off. Now Murphy's Law works in reverse sometimes. You can have a terrible time getting PE to stick when you want it to. And then you have a terrible time getting PE off when you've put it on incorrectly. In this case I darn near mangled one of the brackets trying to break it loose. I was able to reasonably re-shape it after removing it.

    The yard arm is an annoying, very delicate PE assembly consisting of the center piece with all the details, and two very slim PE pieces that you apply to the front and back to triple-up the yard proper and make it stronger and look better. It was very had for me to get together neatly and it continued to break loose as I was handling it. I thought about soldering it, but decided to keep wrestling with the CA.

    I filed some flats on the back tripod legs so there was more glue surface to install the yard. The very fine stay glues underneath the mast top.

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    Last edited by Builder 2010; 09 Feb 18, at 02:25.

  8. #83
    Senior Contributor Builder 2010's Avatar
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    Essex: Tripod Mast Cont. (Part B)

    I then went back and re-fit the brackets and CA'd them into place. They also wrap around the legs a bit which helped provide more gluing area. After taking this picture, I realized that the bracket was not positioned properly, I broke it loose and then re-fit it so the notch actually grabbed the yard stay. I'm going to add another piece of brass to the front of the legs that fully encases them and you can see in the photos.

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    According to the photos, the ship's bell hangs underneath the upper lattice platfrom. The kit does not include the bell, but my old Missouri had two of them and I was able to scavenge one for this more. I filed the bell's top flat and CA'd it to the underside of the top platform.

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    Tried on on one more time on the ship to admire it. Of course I almost had a catastrophe when I grabbed it improperly, bent the yard and separated those three parts on one end and had to sweat a bit as I got it to glue it together again. For the up-scale Missouri, I shaped my own main yard out of solid brass bar and may yet do the same here if it continues to be trouble.

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    There's still more work to be done on this very complex assembly: I want to put some angle brackets underneath, it gets a thick edge for part of the perimeter and then railing. Lastly there's the radar mast that goes on in back. I may solder the railing and definately solder the radar mast in place (or epoxy...no CA). All of this stuff is what makes looking at these models some compelling. As Gary Kohs of Fine Art Models described, "A fine scale model's detail, keeps you looking deeper and deeper and still finding new things of interest." I want this model to do that.

    Due to the incredible delicacy of this piece I'm not installing it on the island yet. There's a lot of other stuff to go on the island including vertical and inclined ladders and lots of railing pieces plus a myriad of additional radar/radio antenna. I'm going to build each of these as a subassembly, maybe even paint them as such and then finally attach them to the island, maybe after the island goes on the flight deck.

    I really thought this tripod mast project was the most challenging of the boat which is why I wanted to get it out of the way. I think that was the right decision.

  9. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Builder 2010 View Post
    I really thought this tripod mast project was the most challenging of the boat which is why I wanted to get it out of the way. I think that was the right decision.
    Yes, and I found out the same thing on my 1:200 NEW JERSEY - you made the right decision in leaving things like the mast off the model until the end of the building process. I have stashed all the whip antennas, etc. - things that I could otherwise knock off - until the very end. Here is a shot of the (2nd of 2 attempts) foremast that I made entirely out of brass tubing & PE since the kit mast was WWII vintage and wouldn't have worked:
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    I also had a struggle with keeping from bending any and all of the very tiny yardarm details - I can imagine that your 1:350 scale model is much harder to work with due to the size, etc.

    Your work is progressing nicely - I'm enjoying following the build!!

    Hank

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    Weird to me but whatever floats your boat...

  11. #86
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    Essex: 1 step forward - 3 steps back

    That's a beautiful mast! I would love to be able to work in almost double the size. As it is, today's efforts were discouraging as you'll find out as you read further.

    So...just in case any of my dear readers ever get the idea that I'm the "World's Greatest Modeler" or something silly like that, today will dispell that thought forever. That complex tripod mast that you all saw in yesterday's post is no more. Instead, I fought valiantly as I regressed through layers of work as things kept getting more and more desperate. We're not through yet, but it was not a very fun day. It was a tag-team wrestling match where the opponent had 3x more folks on his team than mine.

    It all started when I wanted to add gussets under the mast top. These went on sort of okay. As I was manhandling the mast to put all these pieces in place, previously glued stuff started to unglue. I don't trust CA and this was a prime example. The front brackets were little brass triangles that I made and CA'd. The rear ones was some very small sytrene strip since working the brass at this size started getting ridiculous. You can see in this pic how awful the yardarm was looking.

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    The yardarm was the first part to break loose. First the joint on one side broke followed by the other. I dissected it from the mast, cutting the stays that were still captivating it. I didn't like how it kept deforming more and more. I took a #11 blade and separated the three layers. I'm going to do what I did with the Missouri; make a solid brass yard out of small brass square stock tapered to shape on the belt sander.

    Here's the "debris" of the yardarm. I'm sure that when I make the solid one, the rather wiggly piece with all the detail will work out okay. Luckily, the GMM PE seems to be pretty tough and none of the tiny weather stations and antenna posts have broken off...yet.

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    I wanted to install a piece across the front as it is on the photo. This piece wasn't easy to install, and the CA wasn't working. Then the bigger brackets started letting go. During all of this, one of the leg's solder joint let go. Nuts! In the process of soldering that back in place, the CA in most of the brackets let go due to the heating. And to make matters worse, the delicate mast platforms broke loose. I got that out with doing more damage and will reinstall it after other things are done.

    I decided that the flimsy PE brackets now had to go since they were a mess and made a set of some heavier gauge brass. You don't see these parts from their edge so thicker material would work. I traced the existing parts and made two new ones.

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    Instead of gluing these in, I soldered them using the TIX ultra low-temp solder. I had to re-solder that leg two more times until it was finally structurally sound. I also made a new front piece and soldered the new brackets to it which they overlapped.

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    The mast was now very solid and I wanted to add a band around the edge to thicken it a bit. This turned out to be almost an hour of utter frustration. It ended without completion. The problem appeared to be caused by several factors. First, I'm using the side pieces of PE frets as my brass stock. They typically use half-hard (or harder) brass for this since it has to maintain its shape in very fine cross-sections. As a result, the banding was very springy and didn't want to stay put. I thought about annealing it, but this requires heating it too red heat and letting it cool. This oxidizes the surface badly and would have to be abraded to give solderable brass and that would deform the heck out of it.

    The other is how TIX solder seems to behave. If you get a good joint the first time, it seems okay. But if the joint breaks loose, re-soldering it seems to get worse and worse and it just doesn't want to make a strong joint. It was also a bear to hold in place while I was heating it. I tried pliers of all different shapes, but ended with the thing completely detached. I'm going to try again on Monday when my head clears and my nerves recover.

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    It was one step forward and three steps back all day. You get days like that. Like I've always said, I'm not patient, but I am persistant! I may put the railing on without that band around the edge. Again, I'm the only one who would notice. If any of you has any suggestions about this, please tell me! Also, I need information about how to form the PE framing for the back of the SK (Bedspring) radar. The illustration in the instructions is ambiguous to me. I have a set of WW2 Naval Radars from Tom's Model Works that I'm going to practice on.

  12. #87
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    B2010,

    Thanks for the nice comment re. my mast! You mentioned the SK radar - here is a photo of one of my model acquantence's SK radar for his 1:200 PENNSYLVANIA, also a Tom's product:
    Name:  Fore Top wCXAM-1 Model - resized.jpg
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Size:  410.8 KB I'm not sure how to assemble it - I had this sheet and sent it to him as my PENNSY would not have that particular radar mounted.

    If I recall, it's a 2 piece unit, one part adhered to the other with some folding involved.

    Hope this helps,

    Hank

  13. #88
    Resident Curmudgeon Military Professional Gun Grape's Avatar
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    I think thats the CXAM-1 radar not the SK

    When I'm not sure about the folds, I will scan the fret on my printer. A couple of times at 300-400% actual size. Then cut the part out and figure out how its done.

    Then a few times at 100%. These, if its intricate and requires crazy folds, I'll glue to some thin card stock. Then practice at actual size. See if I need to use the BUG and the order that everything need to be folded.
    Last edited by Gun Grape; 11 Feb 18, at 06:37.
    Its called Tourist Season. So why can't we shoot them?

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    GG,

    How right you are!!! My mistake. I guess the SK unit is the round "bowl" shapped affair with the various "crescent" shaped reinforcement pieces. Thanks for the correction.

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    That's a good bit of advice working in a larger scale to get the folds figured out. I'm going to do that. I believe the big bedspring radar is the SK-1. The parabolic one is the SK-2. Iowa had the SK-1, Missouri the SK-2. This image should clear up any confusion.

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