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6 hours ago, Northroader said:

I was looking for another job recently and found this...............

 

i was interested to see a glimpse of a Posting Carriage on the right hand side of the painting.  I believe it was the only time Brunel applied his theory of using large wheels outside the body, on a real coach.   A lovely subject for modelling (real or digitally).

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I don't use this posting carriage much because it's a bit too early for my layout, but it's certainly a nice model.

 

8ZJB1ne.jpg

 

It also has the best interior out of all my Broad Gauge coaches.  Most if not all of my other coaches have very basic interiors without any detailing.

 

H3HA9J7.jpg

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These are the two main types of track models I was using on my GER & affiliated (imaginary) railways layout.  'Uk Bullhead wooden' is the original  and oldest model in this series and 'Uk Bullhead overgrown rusty' is the newer variant, but both were made for TS2004 which is a good while ago now.  You can see why I like them since they look used and scruffy whereas the later track types as time has gone on have become increasingly 'machine extruded' in their appearance and less and less like what real railway track looks like.

 

Uk Bullhead wooden.

UdSFUqp.jpg

 

Uk Bullhead overgrown rusty.

cV4iYUl.jpg

 

This is 'Duchy Bullhead' (Trainz filename) which I'm using as a replacement for 'Uk Bullhead wooden'.  It's a later track model from TS2009 and it's already starting to get some of that 'extruded by machine' appearance, but it's not as bad as some of the other track models that are around.  I've decided to keep it for all of the non-tramway lines on the layout since it works fine and since it was the older 'Uk Bullhead wooden' track model which was mostly doing the invisibility trick I'm going to call it an adequate replacement.

dH24GK3.jpg

 

I'm going to call the track models I presently have in use on the tramways 'placeholders' until I can either repair the original 'Uk Bullhead overgrown rusty' track model or by some miracle find something better than the placeholder track models.

This 'overgrown' track model is actually based on Polish practice and it has four stages of LOD as well as being nicely modelled, but it's not bullhead track and I don't like the plastic looking texturing.  It will do in the meantime even though I don't like it much.

yCfqmyA.jpg

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2KFlxOW.jpg

 

Another task I've been doing as a part of generally catching up with all the various outstanding jobs on the layout has been banishing the hedgerows alongside the ex-B&FER single track line.  The Hopewood Tramway was originally built on a long section taken from one side of an old LNER & constituent companies layout named Valleyfields.  The builder of Valleyfields was dead keen on hedgerows beside the tracks and this hasn't really been any kind of problem except along the single track line.  The tree models that are used to represent hedgerows are of a kind that can be of variable heights due to some mesh trickery I don't understand and what is happening is that over time the tree models slowly get taller and creep closer to the line.

When I first noticed this I thought I must be going nuts, but I set to and moved the hedgerows back to the lineside boundary and I thought that was that.  And eventually it happened again, so feeling a little annoyed I moved the hedgerows back again, - all 5 scale miles of them!  This time on observing that it had happened for a third time I deleted them all.  What you see in the picture is the last of them.  For some unknown reason this stealthy digital growth hasn't been so much of a problem along the double track mainline, but then the hedgerows are more widely spaced out there and the lineside boundaries are further back from the tracks in most places.

I will be adding growth to the plain hedge models at the lineside boundary to get some of the hedgerow look back again, but the tree and shrub models I use will be carefully checked first to make sure they are the kind of model that stays put!

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q1Bl5wa.jpg

 

I've just had an update from Darlington Works about my B&ER 4-4-0T commision.  Cameron Scott tells me that he's almost at the point of starting to apply the livery which is really exciting.  They are going to be painted in GWR livery since the model is in its GWR rebuilt form.  I thought about whether or not to have these engines in original B&ER condition, but the GWR version won out since in this form they will be more useful for the time period I like to work in.

 

csSdpaN.jpg

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It's them Ents. Usually trustworthy though, I seem to remember.

I am surprised that track has got worse over the years as in most other respects models in all the train simulators have improved with the years.

A question to which I don't know the answer, but should it actually be bullhead track on the  standard gauge (not ex broad gauge) 19th century GWR lines in Cornwall? Brunel was rather a fan of Barlow rail, which often proved a disaster and rather expensive for the railway company in the long term. There was an article on the subject in an early issue of Welsh Railways Archive. And some 19th century railways used flat bottomed rail - I know because one was the Rhymney and it is great "fun" building flat bottomed track held by spikes (real not virtual). The Rhymney only switched at the end of the 19th century.

Of course this doesn't apply to the broad gauge where you have a whole different set of issues.

Jonathan

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17 minutes ago, corneliuslundie said:

It's them Ents. Usually trustworthy though, I seem to remember.

I am surprised that track has got worse over the years as in most other respects models in all the train simulators have improved with the years.

A question to which I don't know the answer, but should it actually be bullhead track on the  standard gauge (not ex broad gauge) 19th century GWR lines in Cornwall? Brunel was rather a fan of Barlow rail, which often proved a disaster and rather expensive for the railway company in the long term. There was an article on the subject in an early issue of Welsh Railways Archive. And some 19th century railways used flat bottomed rail - I know because one was the Rhymney and it is great "fun" building flat bottomed track held by spikes (real not virtual). The Rhymney only switched at the end of the 19th century.

Of course this doesn't apply to the broad gauge where you have a whole different set of issues.

Jonathan

Yes I was surprised to discover this type of tree, - known as 'Speedtrees' because they assemble themselves rapidly from a mesh library which makes them variable in height and shape, - can actually move about.  They don't move far, but in the case of using them to create a hedgerow it's enough to end up with the line being constantly fouled with stray branches.  It most probably doesn't matter in the slightest when they're being used to create a forest or a small copse of trees, but close to the line they can be a pain.

 

My GER & affiliated (imaginary) railways layout is set in Norfolk, but your point about flat bottomed rail has set me thinking.  The present flat bottomed Polish track is too modern of course, but there are some 19th century flat bottomed track models available for Trainz and they would be fine for the tramway lines.  I'll have a hunt about and see what I can come up with.

 

I have been wondering about standard gauge baulk road track.  Many years ago now I lived not far from an elderly gentleman who had been a GWR employee and he had a fabulous Gauge 1 garden railway, but I can well remember him telling me that baulk road standard gauge track could still be found in sidings and odd corners of the GWR system well into the 1930's.  Next time I'm talking to Steve Flanders (he makes GWR digital models) I should suggest to him that some standard gauge baulk road track would be very nice.

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Just some track testing pictures.  Track testing is always a good excuse to play trains.

 

Y14 setting out to collect logs from the forestry camp near the dark and mysterious woods at Barrowhills.

Hopewood Tramway engines aren't permitted out on the main line so doing a run out to collect logs at Barrowhills and bringing them back to the sawmill at Elgar Wood is a regular job for this engine.

wIb0FHJ.jpg

 

I was thinking if I cloned and renumbered the Y14 to make two more Y14's that would go a long way towards sorting out the lack of GER engines on the layout.  Doing that make the future of some of the old engines on the layout a bit risky though.

 

cpe2JEm.jpg

 

One of the set piece trains that traverse the layout under AI control is this GCR B1 tank engine and its 40 odd open coal wagons.  Travelling at a sedate 14mph it takes its time and sometimes makes other trains wait until it has cleared a block section, but I always enjoy seeing it running on the layout.  It has a distinctive exhaust beat and a slightly sad sounding whistle so I alway know when it's about.

QjYvCOy.jpg

 

A snap of an E8 again.  One of the changes I've made is installing new magic interactive passenger loading platforms at  Brenton Woods, Bluebell Woods and Bluebell Magna.  I'd originally installed a type of magic interactive platform that everyone on the Trainz forum said was the best thing since sliced bread, - only it wasn't.  My shorter length pre-grouping engines and coaches wouldn't trigger the magic detection devices properly so trains wouldn't stop at the stations, but would glide past with all the carriage doors open and vacuum up the waiting passengers without stopping.  I bet the modern error privatised railways would love to find out how to perform that trick.

I tried various combinations of 'Stop' and 'Wait' commands, but nothing worked so it was nothing for it but to take a deep breath and delete the platforms before installing ones that I knew would work.

 

p85JIJD.jpg

 

B&FER 'Sharpie' No.10 with a train of GER 6 wheelers at Four Bridges.  Four bridges cross the main river channel and its tributary here.  One of the ex-B&FER bridges can be seen in the background.  The double track mainline through to Brenton Wood is a GCR-GER joint line so from there No.10 will cross over on to its home metals.

 

iQovBrr.jpg

 

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6 hours ago, Annie said:

 

 

I've just had an update from Darlington Works about my B&ER 4-4-0T commision.  Cameron Scott tells me that he's almost at the point of starting to apply the livery which is really exciting.  ............

 

That Broad Gauge  4-4-0T looks wonderful :)  You might like to refer Cameron to the discussion of early GWR liveries that is currently in progress on my own BG blog.

 

I also like the interior view of the Posting Carriage that you showed earlier in the thread.  I'm not sure that the seat fabric is representative of early Victorian taste and I feel that the table tops in such a 'luxury' carriage would be more likely to have been polished mahogany than the raw planks shown there.  It's great, though, that such things can be portrayed in digital form.  I'm still hoping that we shall be able to see some video clips.  Do the carriages 'joggle' realistically when in motion?

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I do like that Holly Green the modern GWR has come up with.  I might change one of my Broad Gauge engines to that colour and see what I think.  If I like it I'll send the colour sample on to Cameron.

 

It had been a while since I got the posting carriage out and looked at it so I was a little surprised by the table tops.  They would be very easy to change out though for a better wood texture.  Seat fabric is one of those things that's a bit of a mystery since I'm sure very little in the way of genuine period samples survives.  But if I do find something more plausible I'll change that too.  The posting carriage might end up being used as an inspection coach being towed about by one of my 'what-if' Broad Gauge Wilson well tanks if I do some work with smartening it up since it would be a shame to just put it away again.

 

Coaches jiggling about? - I have to say I can't remember.  Perhaps once I've finished with tidying up my GER & etc layout I'll go back and have a proper look at things on my 1880's Cornwall Rly layout again.

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Better than a poke in the eye.  Old low resolution textures from TS2004 days are awful to do anything with.

 

XE6C0xr.jpg

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GWR experimental green.  The E.B.Wilson well tanks are easy subjects to experiment with changing their base colour so 'Arke' got repainted into the modern researched pre-1928 GWR Holly Green from Mike's blog.  The 4-4-0ST's will be more of a mission to recolour so I wanted to be sure before committing myself to doing it.

 

 mF3BNGD.jpg

 

Being an older model from TS2006 'Prometheus' is very shiny, but compared with 'Arke'  its original texture colours look very close.

 

vpnBVro.jpg

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2 hours ago, Annie said:

Better than a poke in the eye.  Old low resolution textures from TS2004 days are awful to do anything with.

 

I found that I had taken some photos of the interior of the G20 saloon at Didcot Railway Centre.  It seems, however, that this was re-upolstered in the 1920s, so does not represent the 19th century.  The drop-leaf mahogany table in the centre is probably appropriate, however.

 

GWR_G20_interior2016.jpg.55859644152536568d66821e13d62a4d.jpg

 

The buttoned fabric in your carriage looks similar to that shown in Solomon's 1855 painting of a First-class carriage interior.  The first version of the painting, which showed the old gentleman asleep in the corner, leaving the young people to conduct improper converse, caused a scandal so a second more respectable version was produced:

 

475557922_SolomonsFirstClass1854.jpg.605551f59ab973c308f91f9921493027.jpg

 

 

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It was very much that painting and photos of old horse drawn coach interiors in museums that drew me towards making the texture I used Mike.  The small low resolution texture that had been originally used looked like it might have been based on the upholstery in the saloon at Didcot, but it was so severely stretched over the seat mesh that it ended up looking like some mad 1970's armchair.  I made my texture proportionally larger and at a higher resolution so that seemed to fix the problem.

I found a nice image of some straight grained varnished wood and used that to replace the original table texture that looked more like a few planks off a packing case than a tabletop.

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Don't you ever sleep down there in NZ?

 

I'm puzzled by your E.B.Wilson well tank.  I thought the only engines that Wilson built for the B&ER were 2-2-2 tanks to Pearson's design and they had domeless boilers, so did not sport the 'classical' Wilson domes.

 

I have made a model of an E.B.Wilson design, built originally for the Oxford, Worcester & Wolverhampton Railway (the Old Worse and Worse), which originally carried their boiler mountings, but my model of No.184 carries later GWR fittings.  In original form, it looked like this (standard gauge):

 

931148037_OWW_No.21800x600.jpg.910491b86eacff36c0c4435a506e36c8.jpg

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I have narcolepsy Mike so my sleep pattern is not remotely normal.  Having slept for 9 hours straight through the late morning, afternoon and evening yesterday I'm awake at the moment, but that could change in the next hour or so.

 

My E.B. Wilson well tanks are a complete 'what-if' Broad Gauge version of E.B.Wilson's standard gauge 0-6-0 well tanks.  I had owned the standard gauge version for a while, but I started to wonder what would have happened if some small Broad Gauge railway company had gone along to E.B.Wilson and placed an order for a 7 foot gauge version of their standard well tank design.  I'm sure E.B.Wilson's people would have said, 'Certainly sir, how many do you need?'

So on that basis I approached the maker of my standard gauge well tank and asked him if he would make a 7ft gauge version for me.  Apparently it was quite a simple conversion of the model's meshes to do that and he sent me my 'what-if' well tank the next day.  With there being a very real lack of Broad Gauge engines suitable for the mid period of the Broad Gauge I'm sure I can be forgiven for my little freelance, - but possibly plausible Broad Gauge engines.  After quite a bit of fettling they run very nicely and while they are really only a light duties engine they are very useful for shunting and short trip working.

 

Edit:  I have a digital model of an E.B. Wilson tender engine that's very similar to that photo you posted of the OW&WR engine.  It's a nice model and I like it a lot, but I will promise I won't have a 7ft gauge version made though.

 

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Book Corner.

 

Y962fKB.jpg

 

I don't know if I've mentioned this book before, but the postman delivered the copy of  'The Struggle for the Cornwall Railway - fated decisions' by Hugh Howes (published by Twelveheads Press in 2012) I'd ordered at the beginning of the month to me this morning.  It was a second hand copy and it looks like it was never opened or handled much.  It's solid dense sort of book about ¾ inch thick printed on good quality paper and surprisingly heavy for its size.  It's definitely not a coffee table picture book, - this is a history book.  Not many pictures at all really, but what it examines is the surviving documentation and historical background of the Cornwall Railway and the processes by which it came into being. 

I'm looking forward to reading it, but I wish the print wasn't so small and the pages so glossy.  Narcolepsy has messed up my eyesight in an odd way so that reading books can be a challenge for me depending on the print and paper used.  I have a pair of tinted bifocal glasses intended for map readers and these seem to do the trick, but it really is annoying since I used to be such a keen reader and it's a real struggle now.

 

Edit:  I forgot to mention that Russell's 'GWR Freight Wagons and Loads in Service on the Great Western Railway and British Railway's Western Region' also arrived and what a marvellous book it is.  For a goods wagon enthusiast like me this is book is an utter delight.  Soooooo many large clear good quality photos of goods wagons it's enough to set my pulse racing.

Yet another second hand purchase on my part that's in excellent condition.  Whoever they are who are buying new books and never touching them again after they go on the bookshelf I hope they keep on doing it because over the past couple of months I've picked up some really good reference books at very affordable prices.

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14 hours ago, MikeOxon said:

 

I have made a model of an E.B.Wilson design, built originally for the Oxford, Worcester & Wolverhampton Railway (the Old Worse and Worse), which originally carried their boiler mountings, but my model of No.184 carries later GWR fittings.  In original form, it looked like this (standard gauge):

 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/monthly_2019_11/931148037_OWW_No.21800x600.jpg.910491b86eacff36c0c4435a506e36c8.jpg

I've been working my way through your build blog for No.184 Mike and I'm finding it really interesting.  I built my first scratchbuilt brass loco at age 17.  It was a LNWR 4ft 6in 2-4-2T and I made the mistake of using brass that was too thick so it was more of a struggle than it should have been to shape all the parts properly and solder it together.  I hacksawed a Triang 'jinty' 0-6-0 chassis about and converted it to a 2-4-2 and it actually ran very well.  It always had a slight 'after the train smash' look to it, but I was dead proud of it.  I hung onto it for years, but eventually it got sold off along with all my other railway stuff when I got the daft notion in my head to move to Australia.  Fortunately I decided not to go at the last minute, but of course everything was sold by then.

I kept building engines in brass with the last being a tiny jewel of a Manning Wardle 0-4-0 saddle tank in P4.  A trick I used to get a motor into such a tiny engine was to arrange things so that the casing of the miniature instrument motor I used took the place of the boiler.   I was never one to own a camera so unfortunately I don't have any pictures of it.  After that I got into coarse scale 'O' gauge because I was tired of 'watchmaking' and finescale standards in general.

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Do you have this book? It’s a bit more informative about the actual railway than one just detailing the preparliamentary manouevrings that went on.

039D4114-0551-4252-9B25-4ECA3366D207.jpeg.606a6aa3408666988a0ffbeece222595.jpeg

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Ooooooo no I don't have that one Mr Northroader.  One for the book list definitely.  My bedside table is getting close to collapsing under the weight of all my book purchases over the past two months.

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6 hours ago, Annie said:

I've been working my way through your build blog for No.184 Mike and I'm finding it really interesting. ...............

Thank you for your comment.  It's good to know you've done 'real' modelling as well as the digital sort.  I never claim to have done anything 'fine scale' but I do like working with brass sheet - much easier than plasticard because it folds, curves, and can be rolled into boilers.  For soldering, nickel-silver is even better but harder and comes into its own for chassis.

 

Since you are interested in early railways, I can recommend a search on the internet archive for many interesting 'out of copyright' books.  I have gleaned most of my knowledge about 19th century railways from such sources.  They even have Ahrons' classic "The British Steam Railway Locomotive from 1825 to 1924" for free download, as a pdf, and it's much easier to search digital books for specific topics than leafing through real books for that elusive bit of information.  You can magnify print size to whatever suits you, as well.  The only drawback is that fold-out illustrations are often not scanned properly.

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Yes the Internet Archive is excellent.   I also have the "The British Steam Railway Locomotive from 1825 to 1924" on my hard drive and a very useful resource it is too.  Ages ago I had this book as a collection of photocopied pages in a folder that a friend had given to me and it was a nightmare to search through and try to keep in any sort of order.  If I can I buy my reference books as e.books, but of course a lot of now out of print reference books have never been digitised so buying them on the second hand market is the only option.

 

I do miss not being able to do any 'real' modelling, but for someone like me who can suddenly fall asleep without any warning 'real' modelling is just too dangerous.  I got very despondent about it and wasn't very happy at all, but my daughter who is a keen flight sim player suggested railway sims to me and while I was reluctant at first it didn't take me long before I fully embraced the digital medium and my awful state of depression slipped away.

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You make a tempting case for railway simulation! 

 

I am reminded of an incident when I was working in France.  While I was being driven at around 160 kph on the Autoroute, my French colleague casually remarked that he sometimes fell asleep without warning.  I watched him extremely carefully for the rest of the journey :)

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1 minute ago, MikeOxon said:

You make a tempting case for railway simulation! 

 

I am reminded of an incident when I was working in France.  While I was being driven at around 160 kph on the Autoroute, my French colleague casually remarked that he sometimes fell asleep without warning.  I watched him extremely carefully for the rest of the journey :)

The first time I ever seamlessly dropped into full REM sleep without being aware of it was the last time I ever drove a car Mike.  It was an awful experience because I was dreaming that I was driving on exactly the same road and there was nothing to tell me I was sleep.  Fortunately an alert truck driver realised what was going on and hit his air horns just before I ended up in the deep ditch at the side of the road.  I had just enough time to swerve away right on the very edge of the ditch.  That did it for me and I never drove again.

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Not so long ago I posted about the short tunnel at the western end of Truro station yard and how it's been an absolute nuisance to get sorted out.  Truro station yard on the original base layout I started with was far from level with lots of dips and hollows so it took a while to get that sorted.  With double track tunnel wall meshes suitable for the Broad Gauge being hard to find I did an illusionary tunnel trick using a photo of a tunnel to hide the problem and that sort of worked for a while so long as I shut my eyes while going through the tunnel.

 

VBzUv7k.jpg

 

Eventually I did find a suitably sized tunnel wall mesh so I installed it and lined everything up properly and I thought well 'that's that then', but it wasn't.  Installing a tunnel in Trainz is a bit like keyhole surgery and it's not easy to tell if things are level or not.

Anyway some of you will remember these snaps of my miniature Cowlairs tunnel.......

 

XEyPG5m.jpg

 

4cyCMxw.jpg

 

ho0Clty.jpg

 

Fed up with tunnels I left it how it was and went and did something else.  Yesterday I was chatting with Steve Flanders and it seems that if the winds of fate blow the right way he might have properly working dual gauge track available sometime in January next year.  He also said he's going to be making some more Brunel viaducts and in particular ones that would be exactly the right type for the Falmouth branch.  Steve teaches at a university so he's tied up with end of year academic things at the moment, but once all that is done with he'll be returning to making 3D models for Trainz.

 

So bearing that in mind I decided to confine myself to working on Truro and leave everything else alone on the Falmouth branch until the new viaducts become available and not attempt to do anything more on the WCR line to Chasewater until I know if the dual gauge track is going to work out or not.

 

So I started with the tunnel.  This time being aware of the difference in levels between one side of the tunnel to the other  I started first by adjusting the trackwork so that there was a gradient up to the tunnel on the Truro side and a very slight gradient through the tunnel.  Trainz has tools for micro adjusting the height of trackwork and a mini map window that shows the gradient on trackwork so between the two I was able to come up with a gradient that is slightly steep, but nothing like the 'Cowlairs' gradient I had before.

 

n7Qn9Qn.jpg

 

And testing.

 

u3FAGZ2.jpg

 

I'm going to see if I can retexture the tunnel wall mesh to be a more appropriate match for the tunnel mouths.  The tunnel wall mesh is based on a tunnel on the B&O in the US and it was the only one I could find that was the right size.  All the Uk double track tunnel models available were made for tiny little standard gauge trains and weren't any use to me.

 

L9m0nNT.jpg

 

So apart from some tiny level adjustments to the tunnel lining I can tick this job off the list.

I might finish off St Georges Road next so I can make a start on plotting out the town.

 

gXwNkHv.jpg

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