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splinter

APA-5D CroAF 1:35 (Trumpeter, HAD Models, scratch) updated 2017-06-11

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Hi everyone,

 

It's been a while since my last post on Britmodeller, so I'll to make it up to you.

 

This time it's APA-5D, Soviet airfield starter on Ural 4320 chassis. I made my first APA a few years back and it was a lot of fun for 8 months to build and paint 600+ parts.

 

Back then I started with Omega-K/ICM/Revell URAL4320, with Eduard PE, but finished with fresh moulded Trumpeter. There was too many errors in the casting and I decided to take another shot with Trumpeter instead.

 

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I gave my 2nd conversion set from HAD Models to a fellow modeler who cannot afford it.

 

A few months back I started with 3rd set, and this is my current project. This is APA-5D from Croatian Air Force, during CIAV 2016 airshow, held in Varazdin.

 

There are a few things to clear up, prior further reading:

 

1. HAD Models covers APA model as used in Hungary, Poland, USSR/Russia. Here in Croatia we have a slightly different APA, and I will scratch build those details. This set is OOP for a long time.

 

2. This particular APA-5D is normally based at 91st Air Force Base, Pleso, but it was transferred to Varazdin for airshow, because our solo display MiG-21UMD stayed overnight there.

Back in the 90's we had 92nd AFB stationed in Pula, but it was closed and all equipment and vehicles were moved to Pleso. This is why it's still written "92 ZB" on the port door.

 

3. Note that port cables are wrapped in fire hose. This is normal, since port side is frequently used for MiGs. I'll try to recreate fire hose with satin ribbon.

 

4. Front and middle axles use Michelin XZL tires, while Semperit Gigant Steel tires are on rear axle. No Ruskiis.

Croatia got armored vehicles as a donation from US a few years back (M-ATV, MRAP....). This is where Michelin tires came from.

 

5. If you google Pula, Croatia you will notice it's on the coastline. And while other APA trucks are well preserved despite their age, this one got a full hit from sun, rain, wind and salt.

So, no weathering is too much for this APA: faded colors, paint chipping, and rust. A lot of rust.

 

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Since my local hobby shop just started to import Trumpeter, the only URAL they have is late BM-21. There are a few things I'm missing from ordinary URAL casting, yet muffler should be better, for example.

HEMTT is donor for Michelin tires, but it's already reserved for another modeler. 

 

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I shall also use some parts from Voyager PE set and blackout headlights from Northstar.

 

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First thing to do with HAD conversion set is to check it's condition. There are two big resin blocks and a lot of small resin parts. All of them are free movable inside the box. This is why many small parts can be found broken.

I took empty box and secure small resin parts with Patafix. 

 

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Medium parts were removed from casting blocks 

 

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And big parts were hollowed to remove excess weight. Before, after and somewhere in between.

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As said before, there are parts which shrunk during casting, were bent, or broken in transport. You never know what you gonna get.

 

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Before sanding.

 

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After the sanding.

 

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Next step is chassis assembly. But, first I compared BM-21 instructions with my old ones, from ordinary Ural 4320. Trumpeter did realize there are errors. :) 

 

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Or not? 

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For engine belts I used 0.3 mm styrene rods. Trumpeter provided PE belts - they are way too long.

 

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Front bumper was enhanced with 0.25 mm styrene and resin bolting from Master Club.

 

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As said before, tires were taken from Trumpeter HEMTT. They are almost perfect for Ural rims. I just added 0.25 mm styrene strips all around rims.

 

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Also to be noted: they are bigger than Urals OI-25. And because of this, I need to scratch rear mudguards and walkways.

 

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All tires were sanded. Note that there is no spare wheel, only carrier for spare wheel is needed.

 

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Old Italeri/Revell HEMTT has plastic tired which are similar to Semperit pattern. But to adapt them to Ural rims would be a big headache.

 

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For front axle rims I added styrene between outer and inner side.This way they are still free rotating (steering).

 

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All rims were joined with self-adhesive aluminium tape. This tape has strong glue, but rims remain detachable.

 

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Part A12 (front buffer) was cut (upper ring). This way it's easily detachable from chassis frame, but still has supporting function.

 

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Part C39 (support for cabin) has been strengthen with 1 mm styrene, because it's very thin.

 

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Chassis assembly is finished. Muffler will be added at later stage, when stairs for the starter are ready. Most parts are glued to big blocks, so they can still be disassembled and painted. Blocks are dryfitted with Patafix.

 

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Here is chassis with starter main block, compared with finished APA and another Ural 4320 with Natashka tires from Miniarm, which is not ... hmmm... finished yet. :) 

 

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Dryfit with borrowed cabin.

 

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Next big step was to move 2nd and 3rd axle backwards 4-5 mm. This way chassis can accommodate rear mudguards in correct position, compared to fuel tank and stairs on the port side (please see reference photo in 1st post).

This was done by 3 cuts, two aft of axle joint to chassis, to remove 4 mm plastic, and one in front of this joint, where those 4 mm "plugs" were glued back.

 

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This is chassis frame after the cuts.

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I also had to add 4 mm to middle shaft.

 

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Next thing, I noticed that BM-21 doesn't have a tank for air brakes (parts F16, F17)

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This tank is important because rear starboard mudguard needs to be cut in.

 

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I took FAB bomb from Eduard MiG-21, to recreate this tank.

 

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On the photo above, you can see scratchbuilt walkway and mudguards. 0.2 mm copper plate was used for mudguards and 0.25 mm styrene for walkway.

 

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Carriers for rotating arms were rebuild with help of original HAD parts, spare parts and Master Club resin bolting.

 

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For first APA I didn't had PE bender and it was a nightmare to bend those rotating arms. Now it's a peace of cake.

 

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Next dryfit.

 

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Making some mess, as usual. 

 

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I added patterned plate on walkways.

 

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Two more reasons to make walkways from scratch (beyond bigger tires)...  is that Croatian APA don't have 12-ASA-15 baterries, side-mounted on the starter (HAD part no.6 below) and the walkway pattern is not rhomb, but dotted (as seen above).

 

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Walkways were made from North Star plates. I will use them for stairs later, too.

 

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On the close-ups above you can see small handles I made from 0.3 mm wire.

 

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I also scratched rear starter panel (HAD part 25) because original was wrapped up.

 

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... as well as side skirts (HAD part 16). They had bigger curvature radius than needed and one was broken.

 

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I took Italeri HEMTT and had some fun. It looks quite convincing.

 

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I added few extra details to the starter like various supports.

 

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Next was tiny but important detail. Ural logo on starboard fender. This is Trumpeters mistake on original mold, but Voyager gives three pieces in their PE set.

 

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You can see on the photo above some extruded detail, above the false logo. Those supposed to be handles. Trumpeter casted those handles on fenders and gave them as PE parts for front mask.

I decided to remove all casted handles and to replace them with 0.4 mm wire, as well as those on front mask.

 

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I also started removing details, specific for BM-21 launcher.

 

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I also added missing handle on cabin inner side.

 

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Front mask and hood will not be glued until very end so that I can mount the cabin with fenders glued around the engine.

 

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Carrier for spare wheel is assembled. Nothing special to add.

 

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I also replaced fuel tank cap, with more sophisticated according the one I have for ICM Kamaz truck.

 

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I also replaced fuel tank frame holder with PE from Voyager. This way I got 0.5 mm extra for stairs, between the fuel tank and the mudguard. Not much, but enough.

 

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Finally, the stairs! A nightmare to reproduce them correctly. I needed several attempts. During assembly I glued them to a piece of glass with CA glue.

This way I have total control despite it's very fragile.

 

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I also thinned inner part of port doors. I would like to recreate that very moment held by camera when the ground crew member hooked port door with help of mirror (see reference photo on first post).

 

It will be tricky to lower the window, but I think that Trumpeter made complete cabin and doors in a way that it's very grateful to leave door(s) open.

 

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That's all for now. Keep those comments coming. I think it's worth it. Thanks. :) 

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Stairs compared to real one. To be noted: they are positioned at angle! This is why it was hard to make them

 

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All parts together (still without muffler and battery) and some close-ups

 

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It's been a while since my last post, so let's see what I have been doing for the past 5 months.

 

First idea with muffler was to bend styrene bars in hot water. It was a bit difficult to get right curvature.

 

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So, I turned to altered power cable, better to say I removed zillion copper wires inside and placed only one, which I could bend as needed (blue). 

 

If I didn't say it before - I'll say it now - the muffler is worst part on Trumpeter URAL chassis, actually the only thing I miss from old Omega-K, Revell, ICM ... casting.

 

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Battery casing made with Trumpeter parts.

 

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In the meantime I exchanged with with Voyager PE.

 

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Some more Voyager PE details.

 

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I also started changing rims - seems like 3-4 rims are missing parts like valve covers. 

 

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Muffler, front bumper, fuel tank and reserve wheel carrier ready for painting.

 

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If you look closely to initial reference photos, you may see additional front mudguards, which are different on each side. This detail is not URAL factory original.

 

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Front wheels have parts which define steering angle.  This is angle which I want to fix for final assembly.

 

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This is PE fret from HAD for "cable hooks" as I call them. My first APA-5D was made with these parts, but for this APA truck I will use just bigger (on the right side), while for smaller (on the left) I will create new from 0,1 mm brass plate

 

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It's a bit hard to explain but if you compare parts 31 and 33 from photo above, you may notice that 33 has longer flanks.

In reality I didn't notice different flank length, so I shorten them to look same as part 31.

 

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Next, HAD suggest to use styrene bar with dia 1mm and to glue PE parts 31-33 to it. I did it on previous APA, but noticed that heavy power cables makes such joints fragile.

This time I soldered PE hooks 31-33 to brass wire.

 

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I had my mojo to create special device to insure vertical joints.

 

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And parallel as well.

 

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With parallel joints I already had problems with heat transfer - while soldering upper joint, lower melted. To insure stable joint to the base of rotating arms, I used two-component metal glue.

This glue is very liquid during first hour (with 24h total drying time) so I had to think again how to restrict all degrees of freedom during drying.

 

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There are some mistakes that HAD has in this conversion set like this last upper hook, which I had to re-create. 

Glass is used to ensure leveled position, while drill bit gives parallel and equal distance between side strips.

 

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First test with assembled cable hooks on rotating arms.

 

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Full testfit. 

 

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Air intake for cabin air in extended position - also made from Voyager PE (just in front of the front cabin windows).

 

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Rear chassis also got base PE parts for lights. This is from SKP PE set for URAL4320 - this set was fresh from the factory when I got it in Bratislava last December.

 

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Here is a detail from that SKP set for URAL 4320. Here I test if one of front headlights could be used for rear position light on starter.

I would highly recommend this set to anyone because it's hard to replicate such level of details with own hands.

 

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Next were smaller hooks, which are more like orifices on top of the rotating arms. Smaller diameter power cables are pulled thru them.

I used PE fret given by HAD on my first APA, but as said before this time I'll make new ones, from brass.

 

Main reason for DIY orifices is my wish to pull TWO power cables with bigger diameter thru lower orifice and THREE power cables with smaller diameter thru upper orifice.

 

My first APA-5D has only ONE bigger and ONE smaller diameter cables per each rotating arm.

 

Here is squared lower orifice, as given by HAD. Too small.

 

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0,1 mm brass plate for DIY projects.

 

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Cut brass strip with marked sections for each orifice.

 

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On the left is original HAD upper orifice, while all other are mine. It's hard to create an arc from HAD parts.

 

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Here are upper and lower orifice joined together. Three power cables (ex SCART cable wires) with small diameter are pushed thru upper orifice.

 

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All orifices in position and lower are glued to rotating arms.

Two power cables with bigger diameter (ex earphones) are positioned for fit.

Styrene strip is used to allow small gap between cables and orifices.

 

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One of the most fragile resin parts for rotating arms (HAD parts A,B,C). Had to fix them with 0,25 mm styrene and CA glue.

 

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Here is another idea from me: I want to re-create mechanism to unlock rotating arms via steel wire and rotating wheel in upper corner of each arm (HAD parts F,G,H).

 

Specifically, here is a test with 0.3 mm red copper wire to test parallel to base of the rotating arm.

 

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Last thing for today are door windows. Trumpeter gives you one piece windows, while in reality it's two - one smaller triangle-shaped and one larger.

 

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My first attempt was with 0.5 mm clear styrene (right side). Later, I used 0.25 mm styrene for smaller triangle window.

 

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Here is comparison between Trumpeter URAL4320 mirrors and KAMAZ 4310 mirrors from ICM. Acc. to reference photos I needed bigger KAMAZ mirrors.

 

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Comparison to real one.

 

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And my favorite photo so far - notice how ground crew "hooks" port door with mirror.

 

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That's all for this time. Now it's your turn for C&C.  :yahoo:

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Hello,

 

I just discovered this thread, it's a really impressive build B)

 

E

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OK, here are few more photos. This will be last update prior painting.

 

Rotating arms - final assembly

 

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Cabin interior: seam lines on the seats were removed and upgraded with lead wire 0.2 mm.Ribbed carpets were made with thin aluminium. Driver's carpet was cut in for gas pedal. 2nd auxiliary gearbox handle was added from spares (there should be two, Trump messed up again). I also added another handle next to the steering wheel and a air heater in front of main gearbox handle, to keep that front wall busy. Generator console was scratchbuilt with styrene and 0.6 mm lead wire. Only front PE is from HAD conversion set.

 

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How to make roof cover? Enhance edges with pencil, place masking tape on top and repeat lines. Remove masking tape and place it on 0.1 mm copper plate. Cut along lines.

 

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Same process done for rear wall cover. I also added roof light.

 

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Here you can also see incorrect dryfit for passenger's seat. This is as per Trumpeter instructions: lower seat is far forward compared to floor and there is a big gap to the backrest, which is positioned vertically.

 

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Looking at reference photos, I removed front edge on the cabin floor...

 

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... and I added copper strips to the rear, so I can incline backrest.

 

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Here is corrected passenger's seat. Lower part is moved back and backrest is inclined. Backrest is on top and not next to lower seat part.

 

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Sun shields made from 0.6 copper wire and 0.5 mm styrene ...

 

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One small exterior cabin detail added... This panel is again different from Hungarian/Russian starters.

 

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Comparison to real thing....

 

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Windscreen wipers ... Trumpeter gives you plastic ones, which are hard to position correctly on windscreen. I started with Voyager PE, and steadily upgraded them ...

 

Shot at strange angles because of gravity. :) 

 

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Last detail: interior door cover ... Trump gives you bare metal interior, but Croatian starters have cushioned covers. Not much to see now with bare white styrene.

 

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I decided to go with both doors opened.

 

Next thing are priming, painting and final assembly.

 

I'll use HEMMT cabin for paint testing: Mr. Paint, rusting, weathering....

 

P1090534.jpg

 

 

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Some seriously good skills involved here. Very impressive.

 

John.

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