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  1. Martin Baker Mk.3B Ejection Seats for Vampire T.11 (483D010 for Pilot Replicas) 1:48 Pilot Replicas We reviewed the new injection-moulded kit of this interesting early jet trainer here, and Pilot Replicas have created a number of sets in 3D printed resin to accompany the model, increasing the detail beyond the capabilities of injection-moulded styrene. This set arrives in a small brown cardboard box, with a sticker on the top identifying the contents, and inside are two 3D-printed resin seats on a single print base, supported by narrow finger-like tendrils from below. Cutting the parts from the base is simply a case of nipping the supports away and sanding back any small raised location marks, which have fortunately been placed in areas where they won’t be so obvious, such as the rear and underside of the seats. Detail is exceptional, and the parts have been printed at an angle and resolution that has made any layer lines invisible, and where a few are evident, they are so fine that a coat of primer should see them disappear. The seats both have an ejection handle between the pilot’s knees at the front of the seat base cushion, and these should be removed for the T.11, as noted in a small sheet of paper that is printed in colour. A stunning pair of seats for your model. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  2. Vampire T.11 Trainer in RAF Service (48-A007) 1:48 Pilot Replicas The De Havilland DH.100 Vampire was built to fulfil a wartime requirement for a small, lightweight jet fighter for the Royal Air Force, but although the prototype aircraft flew almost two years before the end of the War, the production aircraft arrived too late to see service in the conflict. Despite this, well over 3,000 examples were produced overall, and the aircraft enjoyed a relatively long service life by the standards of the day. Powered by a single De Havilland Goblin turbojet that was regularly upgraded, the diminutive and low-slung Vampire was capable of almost 550mph and had a service ceiling of over 40,000 ft. In common with many other fighters of the day, it was armed with four 20mm cannon, as reliable missiles weren’t yet in production. The two-seat T.11 trainer was a private venture that was equipped with an improved Goblin 35 power-plant, and while it wasn’t initially built at request of the Ministry, over 500 airframes were produced, seeing extensive use with the RAF as a conversion trainer to assist pilots transitioning from prop to jet engine aircraft at this pivotal point in aviation history. It continued in service into the 60s, after which it was replaced in RAF service, although some airframes continued in foreign hands, the remainder going into private hands or to reside in museums around the world. The Kit Many modellers, particularly those of British or Anglophile aviation enthusiasts have been waiting for a newly tooled Vampire T.11 for a while, and on its announcement by Pilot Replicas, there was a great deal of happiness evident, particularly on our forums. Once photos of the early renders, and then photos of a test build began surfacing, there were concerns voiced on the accuracy of the model, but you must bear in mind that these have been from aviation enthusiasts, some of whom have exceptionally rigorous standards compared to most modellers. We will look at the issues raised after the main portion of the review for those that would like to know, and they can decide how they feel about those raised, and whether they would deal with them, or ignore them and build it anyway. It’s all a matter of perspective after all. The kit arrives in one of Pilot-Replicas’ shiny top-opening boxes with captive lid, with a painting of a Vampire on the runway, and the three decal option profiles on the side. Inside are five sprues of grey styrene, a clear sprue, a small Photo-Etch (PE) fret, two decal sheets, instruction booklet printed in colour, a separate painting and decaling guide in high-gloss coated paper, and an A5 sheet that gives extra information for decaling of the lower wings, and a clarification of the use case for the ejection seat pull handle between the pilot’s knees. Apparently, these were not fitted in-service and were a later adaptation, the pilots using the loop above their heads whilst in RAF service. Pilot Replicas have a reputation for finely crafted models, and this one is no exception, with plenty of detail moulded-in, and more to be had if you opt for the additional sets that Pilot Replicas themselves have designed and produced. Construction begins with the cockpit, where the pilots sit side-by-side in what is a very cramped space that wasn’t really intended to seat two. The floor has a hump where the nose gear bay intrudes, and the rear bulkhead has a pair of frames located on holes in the floor and rear, fixing a double rudder pedal box into the front of the cockpit. There are two ejector-pin marks in the centre pedals, but whether they will be seen is debatable, especially as the cockpit is so cramped and will be painted all black, so only fix them if you feel the urge. The instrument panel is a wide cruciform shape that receives a pair of gunsights, one per side, and as the completed panel is lowered into position in the floor, a lever and two control columns are also fitted, with plenty of detail painting throughout the process, with help provided in each step. This extends to the detail that is moulded into the inner sides of the fuselage pod, the aft deck behind the cockpit, and the coaming that is installed over the instrument panel during closing of the fuselage. The exhaust is made in anticipation of closing the fuselage, fitting a representation of the rear of the engine to the forward end of the tubular trunk, and this assembly is painted with various burned metallic shades. A PE trim wheel is fixed to one of the side walls, and the cockpit assembly is installed in the front of the two fuselage halves, fitting the exhaust assembly to the rear, and using at least 10g of weight into the nose to prevent a tail-sitter. The afore mentioned coaming and aft deck are added once the glue is dry, leaving the pod to one side after dealing with the seams while the wings are built. There are twin whip antennae on the outer wing panels, which require a pair of flashed-over holes to be opened from within the upper wing, so take care to carry this task out before gluing the wing halves together. Each wing is made from top and bottom halves, the lower wing having the main gear wells moulded-in, while the bay roof detail is moulded into the underside of the upper wing. The jet intakes are separate inserts at the wing root, with a cleverly moulded length of intake trunking moulded as three parts that minimise seamlines, built and painted aluminium before it is installed behind the intake. The wingtip lights are supplied as clear parts that fit into a notch in the leading edge with a bulb moulded-into the wing, which should be painted red or green, depending on which wing it is. The same process is completed for the other wing, and the two tail booms are made from two halves each, adding the elevator panel with separate flying surface between them as you plug them into the rear of the wings that have already been fitted to the fuselage, the fairings for which are moulded into their trailing edges. Each boom also has a short, rounded winglet stub on the outer end, fitting with the same slot-and-tab method as the main surfaces. The nose gear bay is moulded as a single part that is glued into an insert under the nose, which also has the two cannon trunks installed either side, giving the aircraft a centrally mounted quartet of 20mm cannons for concentrated firepower. The insert can then be offered up to the cut-out and glued carefully to reduce clean-up once the glue has cured. The nose gear leg is moulded as two halves that trap the two-part wheel between the yoke, adding a small triangular part to the front. This is plugged vertically into the bay, adding the front gear bay door and actuator forward, and a side-opening door with moulded-in lightening holes to the rear, locating on a pair of guides on the side of the bay. The main gear bay has an H-shaped actuator and the outer bay door fitted, adding the chunky strut with separate oleo-scissor links, a retractor jack to the side, and a captive bay door on the inner side. The two-part wheels have weighting moulded into the bottom of the tyres, and the instructions show that they should be 79mm apart when fitted, as shown in a scrap diagram nearby. A clear lens is inserted under the port wing while the model is inverted, painting the interior silver before installation. Some T.11s were fitted with ejection seats, while others were not, and Pilot Replicas have included both for your ease. The ejection seats are made from two halves plus an L-shaped seat-pad, an ejection handle in the headbox, and the optional later handle between the pilot’s knees to depict a post-service airframe should you wish. The simple “tin” seats are supplied with PE four-point belts, while the ejection seats have the belts moulded into the cushion parts. Your choice of seats can then be installed in the cockpit depending on which decal option you have chosen, folding up a PE open-topped box to fix to the aft deck before the canopy is installed. The windscreen is glued to the front of the cockpit, adding a PE wiper to the bottom edge, and gluing the rear section over the aft deck. The central opener can be fitted closed, or it can be posed hinged up for the crew to exit, gluing it to the interlocking hinge portion that is moulded into the relevant canopy frames. A scrap diagram shows the correct angle for the open canopy, which sees the lower frame of the opener vertical to the ground. The final tasks involve mounting a pair of mass-balances under the elevator panel, and fitting the twin aerials to each wingtip, using the holes drilled earlier in the upper wings. The thread for this kit in our Rumourmonger area has been active with Vampire aficionados noting some issues with the kit based upon photos and renders that have been seen before the kit was released, and you can decide for yourself whether they bother you. To assist our readers with making their own decision, we undertook a tape-up exercise to establish the shape of an actual production model, using a 50mm lens that resembles the equipment fitted to the human eyeball quite closely, so that distortion is minimised. The thickness of the wing leading edge - or rather its bluntness has been called into question, and while our photo has a tiny gap between the wing halves, it could be argued that this is true. To remedy this, sanding the leading edges to a more prototypical shape could be done with little effort, although repairing the damage to the riveted surface would be required. Lower Windscreen Frame – Members cited the apparently square bottom frame with no curve visible on photos. Looking carefully at the windscreen part, there is a curve moulded into the lower rail that is perhaps not as pronounced as it could be, but is there, but might be lost if the modeller is too liberal with filler. Nose Shape – It is said to be not bulbous enough, which could be partly to do with the ‘missing’ windscreen curve on the test build, although it could well be off to an extent. Aft Wing Root Fairing – this is incorrect, as there is a slight change of angle between the wing and the fairing on the real aircraft. This means that the fairing is too long, ending too close to the exhaust. This could be rectified by careful cutting and sanding of the fairing to reduce its length and change the angle subtly. It may be wise of pack the interior of this area with non-solvent filler (epoxy putty for example) before attempting this in case you go through the styrene here. Wingtips – These are a little too curved, and should be sanded to a more accurate profile from above, blending the tip to create the correct shape. There are bound to be other minor issues here and there, but no kit is perfect, and neither is any modeller. Whether the issues mentioned bother you, or you feel you can either live with them or fix them yourself is your decision. We do regularly ignore canopies that are over 48mm thick if they were moulded in-scale, and many other aspects of our hobby too, but where to draw the line? We ask that the members that wish to discuss this kit continue to use the Rumourmonger thread, quoting photos or text there, rather than muddle this review thread. That way, anyone interested in investigating further can do so without subjecting everyone to their ruminations. Markings There are three decal options included on the extensive sheets, and all three choices have a base of aluminium (not bare metal) for the metal areas of the airframe, and silver dope for the wooden forward section of the fuselage pod. All but one have bright trainer yellow or dayglo red striping at points over the airframe, and large codes under the wings and on the fuselage. From the box you can build one of the following: WZ589 56 Sqn., RAF Waterbeach, 1955-58 XD429 RAF College, Cranwell, 1957-59 XD588 141 Sqn., RAF Coltishall, 1955-56 Decals are printed anonymously, but are of high quality, with good registration, sharpness and colour density, plus a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. The additional sheet provides alternate underwing serials for all the decal options, pre-cut around the main gear bay doors to simplify installation. They appear (under magnification) to be of a slightly lower resolution to the main sheet however, so it might be preferable to persevere with the main sheet decals and cut them yourself after they have dried. Conclusion There are caveats with every model, and because of the interest in the Vampire Trainer amongst our members, it has been examined with a fine-toothed comb. Putting those issues aside for a moment, the detail, ease of build and having three interesting decal options appeals, and it should sell well to those that aren’t put off. Recommended after reading this review. Review sample courtesy of
  3. Swedish Cold War Pilot Figure (48-P-004) 1:48 Pilot Replicas It seems like only yesterday that we reviewed the recently launched injection-moulded Saab Sk.60/105 by Pilot Replicas in 1:48 here, but it’s a couple of weeks now at time of writing, and this little chap has been lurking about in my review pile. Although officially a Viggen pilot, he would look equally at home in this new kit as he would in the Mighty Viggen. He arrived here in an anonymous brown cardboard box, although you may have a sticker on yours, I’m not sure. Inside is a single pilot figure in grey resin, dressed appropriately for his era, and wearing his helmet with his oxygen mask dangling to one side to facilitate conversation, probably about the paperwork he’s holding in his right hand. He’s not wearing a parachute or compression “speed jeans”, but instead has an immersion suit with the document panels on his thighs clearly visible, and the stowed life vest around his shoulders, so he’s likely to either be pre- or post-flight, or expecting to fly a sortie at low-G in something unlikely to send all of his blood on an emergency visit to his feet. Detail is excellent, and he is attached to his casting block by the bottom of his feet, so clean-up should be easy after cutting him from it, as he’s also standing on smaller blocks that make it easy to determine where the cut-mark should be. Now if only we knew what he wanted to talk about? His expression is inscrutable, so we’re not getting any clues there. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  4. Saab Sk.60 RM9B Engine Upgrade (48R019) 1:48 Pilot Replicas We’ve just finished reviewing the new injection moulded 1:48 Saab SK.60 kit from Pilot Replicas, and have cleared away all the drool, but it’s not over yet. As is the modern fashion, several aftermarket sets have been produced to be available on launch to augment the detail of the base kit, for those amongst us that are detail obsessed. This is the largest and most impressive of the sets, although the seats we reviewed recently were pretty cool. It arrives in a large flat box with the details of the set on the captive top cover. The set includes twenty resin and two Photo-Etch (PE) parts that will allow the modeller to augment the new Pilot Replicas Sk.60 kit with its engine nacelles opened up as if for maintenance. It involves the removal of the centre section of the kit fuselage, which must be carried out before you begin building the kit. Construction begins with making the RM9 turbojet engines from two main halves of the cylindrical assembly, adding an exhaust insert and three ancillary parts around the motor, which is all done twice, one for each side of the fuselage. The section of the fuselage to be removed is marked out in red, showing them before and after surgery to embolden the modeller into cutting into their otherwise intact model. The two halves of the resin replacement to the aft fuselage are joined together and inserted into the back of the truncated kit fuselage, taking care to align the two sub-assemblies to achieve a neat join under the belly and at the wing root where it will be most visible. The two engines are then mated at the rear of the kit nacelle section and the kit tail cone is added behind, then the new resin aft cowling halves are attached at their hinge-points above and below the engines, although this step is likely to be done much later in the build, while the PE rib that glues against the kit nacelle aft edges to add detail can be done straight away. Toward the nose, the new resin one-piece intakes and their trunking are inserted into the front of the kit nacelles, completing the route from intake to exhaust, after which it is closed in by the kit front cowlings during the rest of the build, adding the upper wing shortly after, and carrying on to the end of the kit instructions. The rear page of the instructions show 3D isometrics of the finished kit with exposed engines on one side, and three colour reference photos of a preserved example at a museum on the other, showing that the majority of the interior is painted silver. Conclusion The set is impressive, and the detail is similarly so. I feel that a separate set with just the intakes could find an additional market for those modellers that like a smooth, single part intake on their jet aircraft. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  5. Saab SK60/Saab 105 Brass Pitot Probe (48PT002) 1:48 Pilot Replicas We’ve just finished reviewing the new injection moulded 1:48 Saab SK.60 kit from Pilot Replicas, and have cleared away all the sprues, but round two has already commenced. As is the modern fashion, several aftermarket sets have been produced to be available on launch to augment the detail of the base kit, for those amongst us that are detail obsessed. Most of the sets are 3D printed resin, but this one is a little different and arrives in a sturdy Ziploc bag with combined header paper and instruction sheet inside and the turned brass probe in another smaller Ziploc bag glued to the front. You’ll have to forgive my Knipex tweezers for getting in the frame, but otherwise it was going to be fun to photograph! The part is tiny, measuring only 13mm long, and 0.6mm wide at the base, so it must be handled very carefully to ensure you don’t fumble and lose it to the carpet monster or worse, your keyboard. Installation is simple, drilling a 0.6mm hole in the tip of the starboard wing only, and gluing it in so that 10.8mm of the overall length projects from the leading edge of the wing. It’s a sharp part due to its finesse, so be careful you don’t later stab yourself with it. You have been warned! Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  6. Saab SK.60/Saab 105 Canopy & Wheel double-sided Mask (48CM001) 1:48 Pilot Replicas We’ve just reviewed the new injection moulded 1:48 Saab SK.60 kit from Pilot Replicas, and have cleared away all the drool, but round two is underway, leading to a crescendo later this week. As is the modern fashion, several aftermarket sets have been produced to be available on launch to augment the detail of the base kit, for those amongst us that are detail obsessed. Most of the sets are 3D printed resin, but this one is a little different and arrives in a sturdy Ziploc bag with header paper and instruction sheet inside and the masks themselves behind. The set includes a sheet of pre-cut kabuki tape style masking material, plus a smaller vinyl sheet that contains masks for the smaller nose wheel that is moulded with an integral mudguard and supports, making it a multi-part mask. There are also kabuki tape masks for the nose wheel with the exception of the small wedge-shaped area that is best done using vinyl due to its size. The main wheels have hub masks for both sides, and the canopy masks are double-sided, using different colours to tell them apart, as they look identical at first glance. From experience it’s best to apply the exterior masks first and align the interior masks with them to get everything lined up properly. The composite curved canopy sections have narrow frame-hugging masks to avoid wrinkling, the gaps for which are infilled with either additional tape or liquid mask at your choice. The last masks are for the narrow quarter-lights behind the main canopy. Conclusion I’m a huge fan of double-sided canopy masks, so can’t recommend these enough. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  7. Saab SK.60/Saab 105 Crew Ladder (483D002 for Pilot Replicas) 1:48 Pilot Replicas We’ve just finished reviewing the new injection moulded 1:48 Saab SK.60 kit from Pilot Replicas, and have cleared away all the drool, but round two has already commenced. As is the modern fashion, several aftermarket sets have been produced to be available on launch to augment the detail of the base kit, for those amongst us that are detail obsessed. The sets are 3D printed, and offer incredible detail when compared to even the best injection-moulding techniques, whilst having the unexpected bonus of reducing the part count. The sets arrive in small but sturdy cardboard boxes with an adhesive label differentiating them, and the parts inside are protected by a folded Ziploc bag, while any Photo-Etch (PE) are taped inside the lid. This set allows your pilots easy ingress and egress from their ride, and arrives as a single part attached to its print base by the usual support tendrils. Once they are carefully cut from the part, it is a straight forward case of latching it against the side of the cockpit and allowing gravity to do the rest. It has been printed at a slight angle to the base to reduce the likelihood of printing lines showing up, but at this resolution they’ll disappear under a coat of primer anyway. Conclusion More superlative-worthy detail from the kit’s manufacturers that should fit like a glove to the side of the aircraft. It begs for a crew figure approaching it or something, doesn’t it? Watch this space. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  8. Saab SK60/105 Ejection Seats (483D003 for Pilot Replicas) 1:48 Pilot Replicas We’ve just finished reviewing the new injection moulded 1:48 Saab SK.60 kit from Pilot Replicas, and have cleared away all the drool, but it’s not over yet. As is the modern fashion, several aftermarket sets have been produced to be available on launch to augment the detail of the base kit, for those amongst us that are detail obsessed. The sets are 3D printed, and offer incredible detail when compared to even the best injection-moulding techniques, whilst having the unexpected bonus of reducing the part count. The sets arrive in small but sturdy cardboard boxes with an adhesive label differentiating them, and the parts inside are protected by a folded Ziploc bag, while any Photo-Etch (PE) are taped inside the lid. This first set contains a pair of ejection seats to upgrade from the four-part kit seats, that are pretty decent. The set has both seats attached by tendril-like supports to a single printing base, and a small PE fret that contain the perforated backplate to be glued onto two circular turrets moulded into the back of the headbox. Once you have cut the parts away from their supports and removed the tiny pips that these leave behind, the PE is cut from the sheet and glued with CA to the back, completing the build phase. The detail is phenomenal, as you can see from the photo below, and includes a full set of crew belts that will respond well to sympathetic detail painting before being installed within the cockpit as drop-in replacements. Conclusion The detail is jaw-dropping, and will improve the look of the cockpit immensely in one fell swoop, which will be highly visible through the goldfish bowl-like canopy. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  9. Saab Sk.60 Swedish Trainer & Strike Aircraft (48-A005) 1:48 Pilot Replicas Following WWII, the Swedish Air Force (Flygvapnet) had been using British early jets, including the de Havilland Vampire, Venom and the Hawker Hunter amongst their number to fulfil their needs. Saab had realised that the Vampires used in their trainer fleet were wearing out as well as becoming obsolete, and set about designing a low-cost jet trainer that could also carry out reconnaissance and light attack duties, gaining official support from the Swedish military early on. The type 105 was designed to be useful both to military and civilian operators initially, but when little interest was garnered from the civilian market they concentrated instead on military customers, first of which was the Swedish Air Force who ordered 150 as the Sk.60, split between trainers and strike aircraft that would be designated A and B respectively. It went into service in 1967, and also found favour with the Austrian Air Force, who took another 40 105Ӧ that ran more powerful GE J85 engines that were cheaper and easier to maintain than the original Turbomeca Aubisque turbofan engines that were license built as the RM9. Later in service with Sweden, more advanced, lighter and more powerful Williams FJ44 engines were retro-fitted to the remaining 115 Sk.60 fleet as part of an upgrade programme to extend their usefulness into the new millennium. They were license built by Volvo Flygmotor as the RM15, and coupled with further upgrades have given the Sk.60 the ability to remain in service until today (at time of writing), although their replacement, the Grob G 120TP turbo-prop trainer, is expected to start entering service very soon. The Kit This is a new tooling from Pilot Replicas, and the first boxing of several that we expect in due course. To say that we haven’t been well-served with model kits of the diminutive Sk.60 in 1:48 is an understatement, and 1:72 hasn’t fared much better either. That changes for 1:48 now, and arrives in a top-opening box with captive top lid that closes outside the lower, preventing the top from collapsing in on the contents. The box is printed on sturdy glossy card, with a custom sticker keeping the lid closed until you open it the first time, a professional finish that extends to the contents. Inside are five rectangular sprues in grey styrene, a clear sprue in separate Ziploc bag, a fret of Photo-Etch (PE) covered in clear self-adhesive film on both sides, two decal sheets, a folded A3 instruction sheet that is glossy printed on both sides in colour, and a painting guide of the same shape and size that is printed in the same style. Each sprue is separately bagged, and on opening the two intake parts fell from one bag, as they are deep parts in the frames, so were prone to pressure from the other sprues in the box. Detail is excellent, and includes rivets and engraved panel lines, plus recessed and raised details where appropriate throughout, although there have been some very slight sink-marks where the styrene is necessarily thick, such as the supports and detailed sidewalls of the cockpit. The use of PE as standard equipment for the kit is to be lauded, rather than selling them as extras, as it offers more realistic scaled thickness for the smallest parts. The decals have been designed by Moose Republic Decals, and printed by Cartograf, the gold standard of our hobby. The instruction booklet is printed in colour using 3D isometric drawings that have likely been made using the same data that was used to design the kit itself, giving the modeller a better insight into the shape and arrangement of the build process than line drawings can. It also cuts down on instruction steps, with only 21 over three A4 pages. Around every diagram are additional helpful instructions in English, plus paint call-outs using Gunze Mr Hobby codes in a black box that is linked to the part number in an outlined box, cutting down on lines into the process. Construction begins with the main gear bays in the lower middle fuselage, using seven individual components to create each landing gear leg inside the detailed bays, adding extra information in a small circular scrap diagram off to the side, and giving left and right part numbers in doubled boxes. They are then shown being installed in the respective fuselage side along with the air-brakes that rotate out into the airstream further back down the fuselage, and the rear clear ‘quarter-light’ behind the main canopy, plus painting instructions for the cockpit sidewalls, as that’s next. The cockpit floor is a flat rectangle with upstands at the forward end that forms the footwells for the crew, which has the instrument panel and control columns fixed to it, and a rear bulkhead behind the crew. The main decal sheet provides dials for the panel, offering one for three of the decal options that were fitted with rolling map displays, and another for the option without it. This assembly is then trapped between the fuselage halves, before adding the two nose halves around the nose gear bay and at least 15g of nose-weight, then adding a small insert under the belly. At the rear the tail cone halves are closed around a separate tip, aligning the parts with the rest of the fuselage to minimise clean-up. The appearance of two Aubisque turbofan engines are created by inserting the engine rear face into a two-part cylindrical trunk, then inserting them into position behind the moulded-in centre section of the engine nacelles, then boxing them in with two cowling halves and aft fairings that hold them to the correct angle from the airframe. The rudder fin is made from two halves and inserted into a slot in the tail, with a choice of clear or opaque bullet fairing for the T-tail depending on your decal choice, and adding small insert between the elevators and rudder, then putting the aft thrust diverters either side of the tail behind the exhausts in either the open or closed position, as shown from above in a scrap diagram. The forward face of the engine is mated to a two-part trunking that then joins the intake lip, splitter-plate between it and the fuselage, and the forward cowling lower, the top later covered by the wings. The cockpit is filled with a pair of ejection seats that are made from four parts each and fit side-by-side in the cockpit with a brace between them leading from the coaming to the top of the windscreen, plus the optional gunsight in case you are going to build a B. An additional part is also fixed to the upper side of the starboard wing if you are going down the B route, drilling two holes in the surface to locate it, using the recessed dots on the inside of the part to guide you. The upper wing is mated to the fuselage before adding the lowers, and a choice of insert behind the cockpit is given for open or closed canopy options. The same clear parts are used for either option, gluing the windscreen into position and adding the canopy either closed or opened , pivoting up from the rear. The lower wings along with two fences per side, separate wingtip and clear lights that have hollow interiors for you to paint clear red or green to give the correct look. A shallow intake is applied to the top centre of the fuselage level with the exhausts, although its location is made clear by reference to the painting guide, where the overhead views show it well. The main gear bays are fitted with a single bay door that hinges up from the top, and a two-part wheel with moulded-in weighting is slotted over the end of the leg on a square peg to obtain the correct position. When complete, the two wheels should be 45mm apart from outer edge to outer edge. That should ensure you get the right angle and avoid sag, which could be assisted by making a small jig to stand them on while the glue sets. The nose wheel and strut are moulded as one, with the wheel having extra thickness from a separate layer, the finished assembly slotting into a socket in the roof of the bay, and having a door attached to each side. The nose wheel has a close-fitting mudguard, and a scrap diagram shows the correct painting of the various elements. To complete the model, you need to break out the PE and refer closely to the following two steps and your references for precise location. There are a large number of tiny parts, aerials, static wicks and blade antennae that will improve the realism of your model immensely, and the finer parts are best applied as the last task to avoid damaging them during handling. Markings With only two operators worldwide, you’d think there wouldn’t be many decal options overall, but you’d be wrong, as there have been many special schemes over the years if you’d care to Google them. This boxing includes four Swedish Flygvapnet airframes, three A and one B model in two main schemes. From the box you can build one of the following: SK60A 60043, Swedish Air Force Flying School, F5 Wing, Ljungbyhed, 1967 SK60A 60072, Swedish Air Force Flying School, F5 Wing, Ljungbyhed, 1984 SK60A 60127, Swedish Air Force Flying School, F5 Wing, Ljungbyhed, 1970 SK60B 60038, 3rd Sqn. Urban Gul F21 Wing in Lulea, June 1976 Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin carrier film cut close to the printed areas. The carrier film on the main sheet is glossy, and includes many silver-backed stencils as well as the two instrument panel decals that have clear backing with outlines to assist you in locating them. The smaller sheet covers the fluorescent orange panels that were sometimes applied to aircraft for identification purposes, and these have a matt carrier film, while the few regular decals have glossy carrier. The scanner washed the orange out, so I have adjusted the colour to resemble the original as closely as possible. Conclusion Whenever I think about the Sk.60, I immediately recall that photograph of one pulled into a petrol station to illustrate its rough field capabilities, being refuelled and serviced by various pilots and crew who probably thought it was very funny. They were right. This is a well-detailed model of this little aircraft that has a personality bigger than its physical size, and is still in service with the Flygvapnet despite being older than this reviewer. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  10. This is the brand new Pilot Replicas SK 60B (Saab 105) in Swedish Air Force livery. Didn't add any extras apart from what comes in the box. A truly excellent kit with excellent decals. I just replaced the numbers with my own, to make an aircraft I've flown in myself. I aimed for that truly weather beaten look of the main camouflage colours, and I'm quite satisfied with how it turned out. It's also featured in a build article in the December issue of Airfix Model World.
  11. Pilots Replicas is working on a family of 1/48th de Havilland DH.115 Vampire Trainer (two seats) kits. Source: https://www.facebook.com/390440134419981/photos/a.390448977752430/2158553184275325/ V.P.
  12. Pilot Replicas is back and has just released a 1/48th Volvo TL-12 Startbil 954 support truck resin kit. Sources: https://www.pilot-replicas.com/collections/resin-vehicles/products/volvo-tl-12-startbil-954 Frankly, I would have preferred the looong, looong time promised 1/48th Saab Sk.60/105 kit. 😉 link V.P.
  13. Hi there, This is the 1/48 scale Pilot Replicas kit. A real pleasure to build! Among the modifications I made: - Seamless resin intake and pilot from the same manufacturer - Homemade seat harnesses, ladder and pitot tubes, - Replaced the exhaust with a Bubble Tea straw because the original one is too thick, Details in the cockpit and in the landing gear bays are good enough but there is room for improvement. The one thing that bugged me are the rivets on the fuselage: they get distorted and fade away with the curve of the fuselage. Also, part 59 was missing or at least I did not find it. This part depicts the bumper on the bottom of the fuselage and is very easy to scratch build with a bit of styrene, so no big deal. But except for these, there is nothing much to complain about. I liked the luxurious and clear instructions, the excellent Cartograf decals and the PE frets with a sticky transparent film that prevents the parts to spring away when cutting them. The kit is well designed and everything fits. It was the first time for me painting with Alclad, and like everyone I was bit concerned about peeling off the paint during masking, but with a good layer of black primer and polishing, the paint is rock solid! The orange dayglo comes from Faskcolor, and Tamiya paint was used for the Austrian roundels (yes, the Luftstreitkräfte is the Austrian AF, but please don't ask me to pronounce that 🙂 ) , Hope you like it. Antoine
  14. see what I dug out this afternoon for some reason I could not find the resin canards/ fore planes replacements I should also have somewhere... maybe with the attack version kit? - strange.... hope they will turn themselves in not too soon I plan to do it in full burner take-off configuration just after lift off, as seen personally at Airpower airshow in 2003 at Zeltweg Airbase, Austria... https://i.pinimg.com/originals/af/9b/a0/af9ba06fd189d4dbdd25eb6b39387ede.jpg some reference photos, not mine, but I should have a similar one, of course lower quality and still analouge somwhere as well https://www.airliners.net/photo/Sweden-Air-Force/Saab-JA37D-Viggen/377751/L https://www.airliners.net/photo/Sweden-Air-Force/Saab-JA37D-Viggen/739958/L https://www.airliners.net/photo/Sweden-Air-Force/Saab-JA37D-Viggen/376792/L https://www.airliners.net/photo/Sweden-Air-Force/Saab-JA37D-Viggen/374781/L decals are a bit of a problem for this scheme.... there is a great build in 1/72 here on BM, going to take as much as possible... if you have any idea, how to proceed with decals or custom masks of the belly insignia, would be very much appreciated! not started as of yet, just glanced at the many sprues I am not gonna use all of the above stuff, not sure about the Pilot Replicas seated Viggen Pilot, somehow does not look like a tall, big Swede... 2 sets of tyres---- flaps? RAT! yes pylons?... cheers, Werner
  15. #12/2019 After the Bird Dog, now another contribution for our homeland collection by my dad. Pilot Replicas kit built oob, MRP White Alu/Dark Alu mix as base colour, MRP White Alu for different shaded panels to have some distortion of the plain metal surface. Build thread here https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235045982-bundesheer148-saab-j29f-tunnan-austrian-airforce/ In 1961 Austria bought 30 used Tunnans from Sweden which stayed in service until 1972 when they were succeeded by Saab 105. Some served also as recce birds. The aircrafts were used by the one and only Jagdbombergeschwader, split into two Staffeln in Styria and Upper-Austria. DSC_0001 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr DSC_0002 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr DSC_0003 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr DSC_0004 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr DSC_0005 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr DSC_0006 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr DSC_0007 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr DSC_0008 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr DSC_0009 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr DSC_0010 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr DSC_0011 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr DSC_0012 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr DSC_0013 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr DSC_0014 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr DSC_0015 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr DSC_0016 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr DSC_0018 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr DSC_0019 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr DSC_0020 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr DSC_0021 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr and together with the AZ Model kit DSC_0022 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr DSC_0023 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr DSC_0024 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr
  16. Finally my dad started a new project for our home country collection. DSC_0012 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr
  17. Hi Guys Here is my latest completed model, I thought it would be a 'quickish' build and paint, but it took a little longer, I will add some more detail and a few pictures to look out for a few trips and snags, not all kit related there were some of my own. The kit is good but I found a few little niggles that I could have done without, or the manufacturer could have taken a little more care. Would I build another....YES but would certainly do a few things differently. Straight out the box, and painted mainly with Vallejo Acrylic 'Metal Color' cheers Ali The tail plane is not shown very leerily on the instructions as to what is top side and what is bottom side, I eventually with totally smooth elevator on the TOP side, I think it is correct. I think that there should be a few extra lumps and bumps (control horns) but I did not add these. When decals are applied for this scheme, there are two separate decals that fit the side that has the additional detail (on the bottom of my kit) but the one for the top is supplied in full length, when that is applied to the kit it is fractionally too short, so I had to make a quick slit through the decal while it was applied so I could get it to fit correctly. Additional pictures and some guide lines and things to look out for when building the kit. If doing this scheme the black strips for under the wing do not quite fit. The decal gives a cut out for the pylon be placed within, if that is done then the decal will not fit between, the flap and the aileron area, so I positioned the cut out correctly for the pylon, but then had to add small additional black strips just inboard of the aileron, look carefully at the picture, and you will see a faint joint line in the decals. The undercarriage doors on the front wheel bay are not shown clearly on the instructions, in one picture (15) they are shown with the cut out areas at the back, this is correct next stage 16 shown at front, it is just confusing. Also I would try and think of making a small modification to allow for a more positive attachment of the doors, when all painted up it is quite tricky to get the wheel assembly and the doors securely in place. Great care needs to be taken on getting all the decals correct on the fuselage, the black decals and the 'roundels' I found that it quite tricky to get the cockpit to fit correctly and the instrument panel is very week in the narrow areas, and I broke mine a few times. Some of the fit may have been down to me, but I would advise that you take care and possibly have a trial run before it is all painted. I painted most of the parts individually and then tried to assemble and fit, next time I would do more of a dry run fit first. Note the sliding canopy does not have any 'metal frame work' on the front edge Note these are the parts for the intake, well as can be seen above and below the 'turbine face' is JUST too large to go at the end as they would have you assemble so I shortened the pipe as shown. As can be seen there are even small slots there in the tube for the turbine face to clip into, makes you wonder??? I am not 100% sure what this clear lens is to be honest BUT I could not get it to look right by just painting the inside face, so i coloured the small dot in the middle as shown and then added a piece of plastic card with some chrome foil on behind the lens, see picture a few above, I think it worked quite well. The area for the landing lights does not have any backing, so I added a small piece of card to block that in. The exhaust is not great, so I replaced the kit parts with a one piece tube. A few general notes and things to be aware of or to look out for. There are some areas where the rivets, have gone altogether, especially top and bottom of mid to rear fuselage, also some have been stretched, I did some repairs to these but if you really want a much improved model you will need to spend time on these to make these a lot better. The main undercarriage doors should also have some rivet detail added, they are very bare compared to the rest of the kit, and it show's, I will add them next time round. I found the 'coloured' decals quite thick and they needed warm water to remove them from decal paper but once on the model they were quite difficult to move and certainly needed a strong deca solution to bed down onto the detailed rivet surface, I use the DACO strong decal solution. I was tempted to spray the black areas, but then went with the decals, I thought these maybe tricky to apply BUT they are more pliable that the colour decals, but they need to handled with care, and as mentioned earlier the alignment of six black decals and the roundels on the fuselage is tricky. I found a very good sight with amazing pictures that are really good, and inspirational, you can see all the rivet and marking details and panel colour variations. here is the link http://www.jn-photo.se/Browse-my-images/By-Type/SAAB/SAAB-J29F-Tunnan/i-jw8Kt24/X3 Hope all this helps, cheers Ali
  18. Probably the best kit I've ever built. Bravo Pilot Replicas Thanks for watching Andrew
  19. Pilot Replicas is to release a 1/48th de Havilland DH.100 Vampire FB.50/ J28B kit - ref. 48-A-007 Source: https://www.facebook.com/largescalemodeller/photos/a.459679464104014.1073741828.450176221721005/1054354864636468/?type=3&theater Box art V.P.
  20. Pilot Replicas is to release a 1/48th de Havilland Venom Night Fighter kit - ref. 48-A-008 Source: https://www.facebook.com/largescalemodeller/photos/a.459679464104014.1073741828.450176221721005/1054354864636468/?type=3&theater Box art V.P.
  21. Pilot Replicas is to release a 1/48th de Havilland Sea Venom FAW.21 kit - ref.48-A-009 Source: https://www.facebook.com/largescalemodeller/photos/a.459679464104014.1073741828.450176221721005/1054354864636468/?type=3&theater Box art V.P.
  22. Saab Tunnan Aux. Fuel Tanks 1:48 Pilot Replicas Another of the aftermarket upgrades for the lovely new Pilot Replicas kit that comes straight from the manufacturers, and ensures a good fit (see my review of the pilot here) is this set of resin gas-bags for the little Barrel. They arrive in a small ziplok bag on two casting blocks that are easy to remove, as I found out the other day when I did just that. I'm building the kit at the moment, which you can have a look at here if you're interested. Casting is excellent, and the details have been captured well, including the narrow waist and the copious rivets over the rear end. The pylons are integral to the casting, and have two pins for attachment to the underwing hard-points, which match up perfectly with the kit. Give them a wash in warm soapy water to remove any residual mould-release agent, and they should be good to go. They also add a little weight forward of the centreline that will help keep the nose wheel planted on the ground. A small instruction sheet shows the correct orientation of the tanks, as they are handed, with their filler-caps on the outboard side. Review sample courtesy of
  23. Swedish J29F Tunnan Pilot 1:48 Pilot Replicas In conjunction with the recent release of their excellent little Barrel, Pilot Replicas have created a number of aftermarket items for anyone wanting to add a little more personalisation to their model. This little resin chap is supplied as three resin parts that arrive on one casting block, which contains the pilot's head and partially unclipped mask, the main figure with one arm and both legs moulded in, plus his left arm that fits into a little socket in his shoulder. The parts are keyed to the Tunnan's cockpit, so fit with no adjustment once you have removed them from their casting block, which is the work of moments. The resin is good quality and the sculpting is too, with a very natural pose and lots of great detail. Having checked the available pictures out there for flight-crew of the time, there has been a lot of effort expended in getting this accurate, including the harness detail, life preserver and the helmet details. The figure's face is especially well sculpted, and with careful painting will look most impressive. I've included below a picture of my effort for my current review build here, but I'm sure you can do better! There is a little moulding flash to remove here and there, but that's to be expected with a resin figure, and of course give the figure a wash in warm soapy water once you have him ready for painting. The build of the kit continues here. Conclusion A superb little figure that would benefit only from having painting instructions included in the bag. That said though, if you've taken note from the picture above, you'll not go far wrong. The pilot's garb is suitable for Swedish or Austrian service, so you don't need to worry about any alterations if you choose to model an Austrian hand-me-down airframe. There is also an alternative figure wearing a cap and with his arms up holding onto the windscreen hoop, with his helmet nearby. You can see more on that one by clicking the Buy It Now link below. Review sample courtesy of
  24. I started this one almost as soon as I'd finished the review here, but haven't been making very rapid progress due to a few factors that I won't bore you with I started by building up some assemblies for painting, with the view to closing up the fuselage in one go, which included cockpit, wheel bays, exhaust and while I was about it, I built up the simple landing gear. I wasn't too happy with the exhaust, as it was over-thick and blessed with no internal detail of the jet engine that's clearly visible, so I broke my OOB rule on the build and fabricated a new exhaust from brass rod, which I soldered a couple of pegs onto to replicate the kit mounting lugs. I made an end-plug, spun up a bullet fairing for the rear on my Dremel, and then cut four stator-blades, gluing them into the bottom. I sprayed it up, then painted on some fan blades in three shades of Games Workshop metallics as I figured that's all that was needed. Looking at it, I think I may well have been right With the new Vallejo Metal Color metallics in place, I masked the cockpit floor and sprayed one of the many shades of green found on a Tunnan. I altered the shade a little here & there, and then broke out another green for the landing gear legs & hubs, followed by some Vallejo Dark Rubber for the tyres. I received a resin pilot with the kit from Claes (thanks ), and have done a little digging to get some suitable uniform colours for him, which I sprayed on & then lightened, spraying a "highlight" coat from above. I've got a lot of detail painting left to do on his harness, life-jacket, helmet & face, but it's a start. The cockpit has had its dial decals added, plus a few dabs of white paint to highlight the buttons & switches, but I'll add a bit of colour here & there later too, then matt it down to give it a more used look. The tyres also need their usual highlighting, and it all needs a wash of Ultimate Dark Dirt to accentuate the recesses, so it's most definitely a work in progress, rather than a set piece "here's the cockpit I did earlier". That's why everything is on a stick!
  25. Saab J29F Tunnan 1:48 Pilot Replicas After WWII Sweden decided that they also needed to move into the jet age, and ordered a new fighter, which first flew late in 1948. Due to its chubby fuselage it became known as the Flying Barrel, and owed at least some of its design cues to late war German aerodynamic research, which the design team had access to, which may explain its passing similarity to the Ta.183 Huckebein. Unlike that paper/workshop project however, this one flew and served with the Swedish Air Force until the mid 60s, and later in the Austrian service. Powered by a license built Ghost engine, which later gained an afterburner for additional thrust, she was armed with four 20mm cannons, and could carry additional fuel on wing-mounted pylons for longer missions. As well as adding the afterburner to the F model, it also carried forward the dog-tooth leading edge of the wings, with a short fence at the break-point. This diminutive fighter still flies in the Swedish Air Force Heritage Flight along with a Draken and Viggen amongst others. Our own RAF would do well to follow their lead to preserve our flying heritage. The Kit There have been a few kits of the Tunnan over the years in 1:48, and for years a fairly accurate resin kit was the way to go, followed by injection styrene with a rather weird nose. Another kit from a large Chinese manufacturer has been released recently, but it is underscale and therefore inaccurate in almost every dimension, so our hopes are firmly pinned on this release from Swedish company Pilot Replicas. This kit is the final fighter variant, and arrives in a fairly small box in the now standard top-opening box with captive flap held closed (sometimes) by a fetching Pilot Replicas sticker. Again, it doesn't hold together well, and would be easily crushed in a pile, so needs to go near the top for its own safety. Better yet, just build the thing now, as I'm going to! Inside the well-appointed box are five sprues in a mod grey styrene, plus a clear sprue, Photo-Etch (PE) sheet, decal sheet, instruction booklet and separate painting guide, both in a thick wipe-clean coated paper, which will come in handy if you're a bit liberal splashing the paint about. First impression is that this kit has moved on from their already excellent J21 kit reviewed last year here, and has more detail, with very crisp panel lines, fine rivets and some nicely done raised details, all of which will look great under the metallic finish appropriate to this aircraft. The instructions cover only nineteen steps and makes it look very simple, which in fact it is. As an early jet the seat is very straight-forward, but is dressed up with crew belts, plus a large frame behind it. The cockpit tub builds up from a combined floor and aft bulkhead to which the seat attaches, with two cockpit sidewall parts and side consoles. The rudder pedal box fits to the front, and is partially covered by the instrument panel (complete with instrument decals) and control column, before being set aside until needed later. The lower nose is a separate part of the fuselage, and is moulded in two halves with a nose bay box held inside, as well as a faceted clear panel behind the bay that is painted inside to complete the effect. The fuselage is also split fore and aft, along the same line as the real thing breaks for engine access, and the front section is first to be detailed with cockpit sills, additional side panels and the main gear bays, which are nicely detailed, but would probably benefit from a little plumbing to finish them off. The two halves (quarters?) are then brought together around the cockpit, which at this stage can still be seen from underneath. The intake lip is another separate part, and attaches to the two-part intake trunk, which also has a rendition of the engine front at the end, and slides inside the fuselage to be covered over by the nose gear bay/lower fuselage assembly. It is clear that the kit has been tooled with an eye on future releases of other variants, so keep your eyes open for announcements in due course. The aft fuselage has a couple of small intakes and a tail-bumper added, is then glued up around a short two-piece exhaust tube. The two halves are then glued together and the horizontal tail added to a slot in the rear of the fin. Whether you would prefer to join the fuselage fore and aft before cementing the two halves together is entirely up to you, but ensure you test fit along the way if you do to avoid building a flying banana instead of a barrel. At this point the exterior section of the cockpit is detailed with a coaming and gun-sight, plus the runners for the sliding canopy, as well as the windscreen part`, which should be blended into the moulded-in fairing following your references. A small part glues into the top of the windscreen hoop, and a pair of rear-view mirrors and sliding guide are added to the canopy part when it is added later in the build. The clear parts are beautifully moulded in crystal clear styrene, and although they don't have a protective runner around their sprue, they are salted away in their own resealable ziplok bag to avoid damage. The Tunnan sits on big wheels mated to stumpy legs, which are replicated with separate scissor-links from the box, with slight sag moulded into the tyres and see-through spokes on the hub. These fit into sockets on the bay walls, and a scrap diagram shows that the centres of the tyres should be 46mm apart once fitted. It might be worth rigging up a jig to ensure you get this dead-on and don't end up with a saggy Tunnan. The nose wheel is similarly moulded and sits between a single yoke with a two-part mudguard attached before it is snapped into place. Again, it fits into a socket in the roof of the bay, and has two long bay doors set one on each side. In front of the bay is a small drop-down landing light panel, which has clear lenses for additional detail. The main bay doors are attached at their tops, and hinge outwards over the wheels, with a couple of clever airbakes that slide out of the fuselage from slots when needed, or after the hydraulic pressure bleeds away following power-off, so it is good that they are included. Check your references for the correct "limp" angle for these on the ground. No barrel would fly without wings, and as befits the simplicity of the aircraft, they are similarly straight-forward. All the flying surfaces are capable of mobilising, and fit to tabs on the lower wing panel before being trapped in place by the addition of the upper. Drill out the pylon holes before gluing if you plan on using them, or have some of the resin drop-tanks that are also available. Some of the additional "detail-up" parts were included with the review sample, so I'll review those separately later. A clear navigation light is added to the front of each wingtip, plus wing fences, optional pylon and pitot probe, after which you can slide the mating tabs into the fuselage slots, completing your model. Markings The F was overwhelmingly finished in un-polished aluminium, and Pilot Replicas recommend the new Vallejo Metal Colors to replicate the finish. There are three decal options included in the kit, varying in squadron or tactical markings, and you can build of the following from the box: #29547 1st Squadron at F3 Wing, Malmen/Linkoping, Sept 1956 – black identification bands on nose, fuselage and wingtips, plus red C on tail and red striped rudder & elevators. Red/black band on nose. #29621 Swedish Airforce Academy, F20 Wing Uppsala, Summer 1966 – dayglo leading edge to fin and parallel lines on fuselage, plus black 18 on tail, black 20 on fuselage. #29422 3rd Squadron F15 Wing, Soderhamn, spring 1959 – daylgo wing stripes and diamond on upper fuselage, plus yellow nose band. The decals have been printed by Cartograf with good register, sharpness and colour density, and were designed by RBD Studios, who specialise in decals for Swedish aircraft. Helpfully, all the identification panels have been provided as decals, but you might still wish to paint them yourself, using them as templates. A separate page of the guide shows the common stencils and position of the Swedish Crown roundels, with one variation on the nose between different production batches. Conclusion I've been wanting to build a 1:48 Tunnan for years now, as my first completed model when I came back to the hobby was the old Amtech Huckebein, and it just appealed to me. Detail is excellent, the shape looks good, and the decal options are nice and colourful. As already stated, there are even additional detail packs available from Pilot Replicas to satisfy your urges, including pilots in various poses, brass pitot tubes and drop-tanks, which should all fit neatly in place. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
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