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John

Airfix Me262 - a look in the box

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23 hours ago, Rob G said:

re the 262 as an airframe for development - I recall reading somewhere, many years ago (to my great disappointment) that it was an aerodynamic mess - nowhere near as good as it looked, and pretty well unfixable. I cannot now recall who wrote that, or where, but it must have been in a book (long before the internets was a thing), so it must therefore have been true. :)

Efim Gordon's German Aircraft in the Soviet Union and Russia (Midlands, 2008) says (p.222-3) that during Soviet testing a tendency became apparent to enter an uncontrollable dive at high speeds.  According to him German test pilots had found the same thing.  Apart from this "perfidious" behaviour at high speeds, Soviet pilots gave a generally positive assessment of its handling, though noting its poor takeoff performance, necessitating long runways or RATO (p.226).

 

Apparently serious consideration was given to putting a reverse-engineered Me 262 into production but (p.228) A S Yakovlev records in his memoirs that, at a meeting chaired by Stalin, he (Yakovlev) said he was dead against it: he considered it "a poor quality machine, difficult in handling and notorious for a number of fatal accidents it had suffered in Germany.  If adopted in the USSR, it would, in Yakovlev's opinion, discourage Soviet pilots from mastering jet-powered aircraft.  Furthermore, allocating all the resources to copying a German design would seriously prejudice the development of indigenous Soviet designs and be damaging to indigenous Soviet jet aircraft technology."  [Said the completely disinterested designer of the Yak-15!!]

 

I suspect the last sentence applied in the UK and US, only more so.       

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On 15/09/2017 at 2:50 PM, Rob G said:

re the 262 as an airframe for development - I recall reading somewhere, many years ago (to my great disappointment) that it was an aerodynamic mess - nowhere near as good as it looked, and pretty well unfixable. I cannot now recall who wrote that, or where, but it must have been in a book (long before the internets was a thing), so it must therefore have been true. :)

Don't care, reminds me of a shark on steroids.  It's brill !!!

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The main problem came from that they had no clue about the area rule then when they designed it.

Actually it had the area rule incorporated in the inverted way means the fuselage (and therefore even more the overall cross section) was thickest where the wings were attached, it should have been the opposite.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Area_rule

It resulted in vortices that made the tail buffeting at highest speeds.

 

The Ar 234 faired much better in that respect even if it didn't have the area applied either.

 

The area rule was discovered by Otto Frenzl at the end of 1943 which resulted in more modern projects from Junkers and Messerschmidt and other German AC manufacturers.

 

Here's a drawing from the patent application (the upper AC looks like the Ju 287):

Patent_932410_Seite_5.gif

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Sorry to go back to basics but I still have a question/concern over the new kit before I actually buy it.

 

Whilst it generally looks very good the 'pro built' example on the Airfix web site seems to show a distinct step between the front canopy and the main hinged glazing section so can any purchasers confirm? After all if a 'pro builder' cannot hide or overcome this then I'm sure I'll struggle so feel inclined to go for the Revell version instead, albeit with a one piece canopy.

 

By the way I did try to post the same question on the Airfix web site but they declined to publish which is rather unfortunate as it just stifles genuine debate.

 

Any comments please?

 

Regards

Colin.

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On 12/09/2017 at 5:34 PM, KITCAT said:

Got mine from a well known shop in West Yorkshire on Sunday. Now call me suspicious but I would love Airfix to state the source for the blue and white check marking as I am sure at best that this was interpreted from a black and white photo.

Just about everyone else has taken it for green.

 

Eagle cal and cutting edge have blue checks

Maybe based on this........

http://www.stormbirds.com/experten/products3addendum.htm

 

I haven't chased it too much but i guess it's another colour conundrum that we will be dealing with until definitive evidence (like a wreck with a paint sample) turns up in a barn somewhere!

🤔

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56 minutes ago, It's a disease said:

Maybe based on this...

Since publication of our Experten booklet and the link to David's updated information in the Stormbirds article David has, when time allows, continued to research these markings (amongst his other research projects) and will publish further information when he can - if more is found.

During our initial research into Yellow 3 our belief and that of other researchers at the time was that the checks were green and white but there was always a nagging possibility in our minds that blue and white could have been a possibility (a fact that we included in the text of the booklet).

Because of this we had considered including blue/white bands on the decal sheet but the decal printing was too far along for this to be done.

 

Cheers

Dave

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Hi, it's very good to hear it directly from the researchers themselves. Absolutely directly from the horses mouth! That final paragraph does suggest to me it is conclusively blue........I would have taken that as gospel.....exactly as I did!

 

So it's still open to interpretation?

Hopefully some pilots notes/log book or similar will surface in time. Surely there must be rare gems still to find.

Im (95%) sure I read about paint colours being unearthed in museum restorations so there is always a chance for something even that far fetched.

 

Good luck with the research, whatever it may yield.

 

 

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Is not blue and white not synonymous with Bavarian heraldry? Could be something to do with it maybe? 

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12 hours ago, Britman said:

Is not blue and white not synonymous with Bavarian heraldry? Could be something to do with it maybe? 

That was my first thought on seeing the Blue and White.

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On 9/16/2017 at 5:43 PM, occa said:

he main problem came from that they had no clue about the area rule then when they designed it.

Actually it had the area rule incorporated in the inverted way means the fuselage (and therefore even more the overall cross section) was thickest where the wings were attached, it should have been the opposite.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Area_rule

It resulted in vortices that made the tail buffeting at highest speeds.

So in this instance the old maxim of it being good if it looks good is a long way off the mark...

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On 9/16/2017 at 9:36 PM, fishplanebeer said:

Sorry to go back to basics but I still have a question/concern over the new kit before I actually buy it.

 

Whilst it generally looks very good the 'pro built' example on the Airfix web site seems to show a distinct step between the front canopy and the main hinged glazing section so can any purchasers confirm? After all if a 'pro builder' cannot hide or overcome this then I'm sure I'll struggle so feel inclined to go for the Revell version instead, albeit with a one piece canopy.

 

By the way I did try to post the same question on the Airfix web site but they declined to publish which is rather unfortunate as it just stifles genuine debate.

 

Any comments please?

 

Regards

Colin.

Sorry, I Colin, I can't confirm that one, but I've been looking over pictures of the sprue shots and something had been nagging at me about this kit (as nice as it looks).  Then it dawned on me, the lack of detail on the rear of the engine nacelles (all those little triangular looking vents).  Is it my poor eyes, the inability of picking out this detail from the online pics or is this detail indeed not present?

 

Related image

 

Related image

 

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Gents,

 

Following Dave Wadman’s comments – and kind words – I thought it perhaps useful to start from the beginning to describe how our knowledge of KG(J) unit markings evolved since these markings were first noticed in photos of Me 262s back in the late 1970s.

 

Initially, it was thought that they defined aircraft operating with Industrie Selbstschutzschwarme (ISS – Industry Self-Defense Unit) units. This was based on several lost listings of Me 262s associated with ISS 1 and 2. However, as these were ad hoc and temporary units, it is thought highly unlikely that they wore any distinctive markings. The green and blue tail band on the Me 262 that graces the cover of Monogram’s “Jet Planes of the Third Reich” is based on an interpretation using available information over 30 years ago. Standing in front of the original painting in Tom Hitchcock’s study, he told me that he and Richard Smith made a guess as to what kind of unit would have such a unique fuselage band style. That’s it, a guess. This was also confirmed to me by Richard.

 

The colour combination was an interpretation comparing the various grey tones with known maintenance colours and they arrived at a blue and green combination. Years later, Jim Crow sent me photos of the aircraft in question – Yellow 5, WNr.501232. In some images the chequer tail band (karoband) was visible, in others it appeared as a black band. Obviously, some of the photos were using orthochromatic film such that reds appear as black. Indeed, where the two band colours could be seen, the grey tones for red and the light green are very similar. The darker colour could either be only dark blue or black, two similar shades of grey. The contrast with the latter colour would make the most sense and this was confirmed via other sources – see below. This was our first clue.

 

I should note that in some cases the image showing Yellow 5 with a black band has been Photo-shopped where the lighter cheques are shown but there is no acknowledgement in the captions that this digital revisions has taken place - hence confusion with this aircraft and its markings.

 

Bottom line is that the karoband – Industrie Selbstschutzschwarme relationship was an educated guess over thirty years ago. More data has been discovered to identify the true identity of the units wearing these bands.

 

Since there was not documentary of other data that linked these karobands to the Industrie Selbstschutzschwarme units, focus shifted to the possibility that they might be related to those of the Kampfgeschwader (Jagd) units. Over the past years, numerous photos have surfaced (several in colour) that have confirmed the colour of two of the bands (green/white and red/black) and unit affiliations. In my research, I have determined that photographic documentation exists for 19 individual aircraft wearing these bands, both published and unpublished:

 

In addition, three (3) styles of such markings are evident, again via photographs:

  • III./KG(J) 6: two band styles – large (Bf 109), small (Me 262)

  • I./KG(J) 27: one band style – large (Bf 109 & Fw 190)

  • I./KG(J) 54: three band styles – large (Bf 109), medium and small (Me 262)

  • III./KG(J) 54: two band styles – large and medium (Me 262)

 

The following colour combinations and unit affiliations are believed to be as follows:

  • KG(J) 6 – red / black

  • KG(J) 27 – green / white

  • KG(J) 54 – blue / white

 

In our Experten Decals book ED-2A (Brown and Wadman, 1997), Dave and I were the first to prove conclusively that the karobands were linked to the Kampfgeschwader (Jagd) units. This was based on photos of an Me 262 A-1a “Yellow 3+I” that revealed it wearing a large style blue and white (we originally interpreted as green / white) and most importantly, the famous KG 54 “Totenkopf” Geschwaderwappen. Since then, photographs of several other similarly marked aircraft from KG(J) 54 have been discovered that confirms this interpretation.

 

While no official documentary evidence has so far turned up, narratives from pilots and other unit members have provided additional information. This relates to descriptions of the KG(J) 6 and 54 aircraft having red and black and blue and white tail markings that first appeared in an article by Jan Horn (1996) on KG(J) 6. The pieces were falling into place and confirmed that red and black were the colours for KG(J) 6 and blue and white for KG(J) 54 respectively. Photographic and crash report documents published by Jerry Crandall (Proulx, 2005) has linked an Fw 190 A-9 with KG(J) 27. Rajlich et al. (2001) published several photos of Bf 109s wearing large karobands that were interpreted as possibly associated with an unknown KG(J) unit. The colour photo of the Bf 109 G-10 at Kaufbeuren ("Yellow 2") shows it wearing a green / white band. Based on a process of elimination, these would have to be the colours assigned to this unit. Other KG(J) units were designated by the Luftwaffe to convert to the Me 262: KG(J) 30 and KG(J) 55. However, they were either given new responsibilities (Mistel program, KG(J) 30), or were disbanded (KG(J) 55). These events happened prior to or soon after any orders to apply chequer tail bands, hence, they would not exist.

 

But when did these markings first appear, and why?

 

Based on information contained in personal correspondence, publications and articles by S. Radtke, M. Boehme and J. Horn, it appears that the various KG(J) units adopted the fighter-style tactical markings sometime during the March 15 - March 22, 1945 period, with the markings themselves being applied during this time or a little later. Radtke (1990) infers that for I./KG(J) 54 this took place sometime between March 22-26.

 

It is important to recall that since mid-1944 several units on the Western Front had been wearing colourful tailbands for recognition purposes, with the first use of such markings by Strurmstaffel 1 (JG 1) appearing in October / November 1943. It was not until late February 1945 that the Luftwaffe got around to formalized the unit, colour(s) and pattern designations for the Jagdwaffe. It is known that several of the units never wore their assigned Reichsverteidigung bands. The order stated the reasons for these markings:

 

By the order of the Reichsmarschall and for purposes of improving aerial recognition, Jagdgeschwader aircraft are to be marked by fuselage-encircling colored stripes as indicated in the appended enclosure. Attention of troops down to platoon level is to be drawn to these markings which should simplify the recognition and distinction of our own aircraft.

I believe that Generalmajor Dietrich Peltz, commander of the Kampfflieger, believed that similar markings would be needed for the aircraft of the IX. Fliegerkorps under his command, especially since his Me 262 units were now operating as fighters. Since most of the available colour combinations had been used, it would make sense to use a different pattern given the limited colours available. Hence, the use of chequers as opposed to vertical bands. It is interesting to note that the colours selected for the KG(J) unit’s bands shared the same dominant colour used by fighter units that had the same numerical designations which surely cannot have been a coincidence (first proposed by Dave Wadman):

  • Red – JG 6 & KG(J) 6

  • Green – JG 27 & KG(J) 27

  • Blue – JG 54 & KG(J) 54

With the exception of III./KG(J) 54, all Me 262s from III./KG(J) 6 and I./KG(J) 54 reveal identical RV band and number styles. Photos of Bf 109s of these units indicate that both wore the same colour bands but in different styles, the larger cheques probably created to better suit visibility on the narrow tapering fuselage of the Bf 109. KG(J) 27’s aircraft would be expected to follow this pattern and do. Below is a compilation of known karoband aircraft though I suspect I have left a few aircraft off the list, and more will be presented in the upcoming JaPo book:

 

Unit

Size

Colours

Photos

Aircraft

Code

WNr.

Location

9./III./KG(J) 6

small

red / black

yes

Me 262 A-1

Yellow 5

501232

München-Riem

9./III./KG(J) 6

small

red / black

yes

Me 262 A-1

Yellow 3

500???

Saaz (Žatec)

8./III./KG(J) 6

small

red / black

yes

Me 262 A-1

Red 7

5012??

Saaz (Žatec)

8./III./KG(J) 6

small

red / black

yes

Me 262 A-1

Black 1

11????

Saaz (Žatec)

7./III./KG(J) 6

small

red / black

yes

Me 262 A-1

White 1

501219

Saaz (Žatec)

7./III./KG(J) 6

small

red / black

yes

Me 262 A-1

White 11

500???

Praha-Ruzyně

7./III./KG(J) 6

?

red / black

yes

Me 262 A-1

White ?

501201

Nr. Kladno, CZ

1./I./KG(J) 6

large

red / black

yes

Bf 109 G-10AS

White 7

??????

Praha-Ruzyně

1./I./KG(J) 6

large

red / black

yes

Bf 109 G-10AS

White 9

??????

Praha-Kebly

2./I./KG(J) 6

large

red / black

yes

Bf 109 G-10AS

Black 3

??????

Praha-Kebly

Stab./I./KG(J) 6

large

red / black

yes

Bf 109 G-10AS

Black <

??????

Praha-Kebly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7./III./KG(J) 27

large

green / white

yes

Fw 190 F-9

White 2

206000

Wels, Austria

1./I./KG(J) 27

large

green / white

yes

Bf 109 G-10AS

Yellow 2

??????

Kaufbeuren

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3./I./KG(J) 54

small

blue / white

yes

Me 262 A-1

Yellow 3

1105??

Moosburg

3./I./KG(J) 54

medium

blue / white

yes

Me 262 A-1

Yellow 2

??????

Praha-Ruzyně

1./I./KG(J) 54

medium

blue / white

yes

Me 262 A-1

White 1

??????

Nasvačily CZ

1./I./KG(J) 54

medium

blue / white

yes

Me 262 A-1

Black 11

111901

Bohemia

1./I./KG(J) 54

large

blue / white

yes

Bf 109 G-14

White 4

??????

Bohemia

3./III./KG(J) 54

large

blue / white

yes

Me 262 A-1a

Yellow 3

110???

München-Riem

 

That’s about all I can add to this discussion. More information and photos is available in the two-part series on Me 262 units operating in the Protectorate that I co-authored with colleagues at JaPo (Brown et al., 2010; 2012). There is a separate title on Bf 109s of the KG(J) units currently in preparation that will no doubt add to the story of these units.

 

Cheers,

 

David

 

References

 

Boehme, M., 1992.

JG 7 - The World’s First Jet Fighter Unit 1944/1945.

Schiffer Publishing Ltd., Altglen, Pennsylvania, 230 p.

 

Brown, D.E., and Wadman, D., 1997

“Checkmate” – Gelbe 3 / B3+?T, Me 262 A-1a, WNr.17030?, III./KG(J) 54 – Experten Decals No.2A

Experten, Calgary, Canada, 12 p.

 

Brown, D.E., Poruba, T. and Vladař, J., 2012

Messerschmitt Me 262 Production & Arado Ar 234 Final Operations – Luftwaffe over Czech Territory 1945 - Volume IV

JaPo, Hradec Králové, Czech Republic, 160 p.

 

Brown, D.E., Janda, A. Poruba, T. and Jan Vladař, J., 2010

Messerschmitt Me 262s of KG & KG(J) Units – Luftwaffe over Czech Territory 1945 - Volume III

JaPo, Hradec Králové, Czech Republic, 180 p.

 

Horn, J, 1996

Als die Kampfflieger noch Jäger werder Solten – Das Ende des KG(J) 6 im Raum Prag.

Jägerblatt – Officielles Organ der Gemeinschaft der Jagdflieger E.V., Vol.XLV, Nr.1, Köln, p.38-43.

 

Proulx, M., 2005

Wings of the Black Cross – Volume 3.

Eagle Editions, Hamilton, 36 p.

 

Radtke, S., 1990

Kampfgeschwader 54 - Von der Ju 52 zur Me 262 - Eine Chronik nach Kreigstagebüchern, Berichten und Documenten.

Schild Verlag, München, 383 p.

 

Rajlich, J., Kokoška, S., and Janda, A., 2001

Luftwaffe Over Czech Territory 1945

JaPo, Hradec Králové, Czech Republic, 263 p.

 

Smith, J. R., and Creek, E., J., 1982

Jet Planes of the Third Reich.

Monogram Aviation Publications, Boylston, Massachusetts, 400p.

 

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Gents,

 

I forgot to add that a new photo of the Me 262 "Yellow 3+I" of 9./KG(J) 54 reveals that its original code was "B3+AT", so it was a machine that appears to have been assigned to the 9. Staffel for a considerable period of time. Unfortunately, its Werknummer remains unknown, and it does not appear in the loss listing published by Radtke.  I am leaning towards a machine from the 1103xx series, as similar camouflage and markings are observed on the oft-photographed  "White 7" WNr.110386 of III./EJG 2 found at Neubiberg.

 

Cheers,

 

David

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On 9/17/2017 at 12:36 PM, fishplanebeer said:

Whilst it generally looks very good the 'pro built' example on the Airfix web site seems to show a distinct step between the front canopy and the main hinged glazing section so can any purchasers confirm? After all if a 'pro builder' cannot hide or overcome this then I'm sure I'll struggle so feel inclined to go for the Revell version instead, albeit with a one piece canopy.

 

The build in Airfix Modelworld looks fine in this respect so maybe the 'pro builder' you refer to did not do a good job. If you are nervous, best wait until a few builds appear on Britmodeller.

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On 17/09/2017 at 03:36, fishplanebeer said:

Sorry to go back to basics but I still have a question/concern over the new kit before I actually buy it.

 

Whilst it generally looks very good the 'pro built' example on the Airfix web site seems to show a distinct step between the front canopy and the main hinged glazing section so can any purchasers confirm? After all if a 'pro builder' cannot hide or overcome this then I'm sure I'll struggle so feel inclined to go for the Revell version instead, albeit with a one piece canopy.

 

By the way I did try to post the same question on the Airfix web site but they declined to publish which is rather unfortunate as it just stifles genuine debate.

 

Any comments please?

 

Regards

Colin.

 

Have a look at this - 

 

IMG_1235.jpg

 


IMG_1237.jpg

 

No problems at all. I didn't do any extra trimming apart from cleaning up the sprue points. So this is how they fit like they're intended to. 

 

Not posted these in the wip yet by the way. 

 

Ps you can make a step between them if you put the main canopy piece in back to front. Not seen the pic you are on about but doubt that is the case with it? 

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I am still wondering about those engines nacelles.  That's a pretty big piece of detail that looks to be missing.  For all the faults of the Hasegawa, Revell and Academy kits, they did not miss that.

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I'm first to admit that I don't know enough about the Me262 to be able to comment in any detail on the lack of the 2 lines of vents on the rear of the engine nacelles, beyond observing that there seems to be panel lines on the kit where the vents would be.

 

Looking at our own walkround thread on the Me262, the vents look to be either holes or slots:

 

and much less pronounced than in photos of other machines.  On some airframes they don't seem to show up at all.

 

I'm not sure what to do about them. I'll give it a bit more thought when I get further into my WIP.

 

John

 

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On 9/13/2017 at 2:34 AM, KITCAT said:

Got mine from a well known shop in West Yorkshire on Sunday. Now call me suspicious but I would love Airfix to state the source for the blue and white check marking as I am sure at best that this was interpreted from a black and white photo.

Just about everyone else has taken it for green.

 

As it happens I came across my original copy of the Experten Decals publication on this aircraft (with decals). It had it in green / white checks. I believe it was Jerry Crandall or D Brown who later stated with some further back up research that it was blue/white. AFAIK it seems blue / white are now the accepted colours. 

Now all I have to do is wait for the kit to arrive down under.......

Edited by longweight
Wrong names

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8 hours ago, longweight said:

I believe it was Jerry Crandall or D Brown 

Just to clarify the green/white v. blue/white issue and as noted by David in his earlier post it was actually the continued research by both he and our Czech and German colleagues that determined the blue/white colours.

 

Cheers

Dave

Edited by tango98

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On 20.9.2017 at 1:48 PM, SimonT said:

@Tony Oliver is doing one here 

 

This really reminds me the Revell Me 262.
Same with engines and fuselage.
But canopy is much better.

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On 9/24/2017 at 12:50 AM, tango98 said:

Just to clarify the green/white v. blue/white issue and as noted by David in his earlier post it was actually the continued research by both he and our Czech and German colleagues that determined the blue/white colours.

 

Cheers

Dave

Ahh. I originally mentioned the guys from JaPo etc but wasnt sure so I edited things. 

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On ‎9‎/‎18‎/‎2017 at 2:26 AM, Britman said:

Is not blue and white not synonymous with Bavarian heraldry? Could be something to do with it maybe? 

Britman and PLC1966, I checked with my old university roommate, Walt(he is originally from Nuremburg; his dad was on "an all expense-paid tour of Ukraine, Beloruss, Poland, etc. from mid-'43 to mid-'45"; his uncle was a pilot in the Luftwaffe). He confirmed that the blue and white colors are synonymous with Bavaria; and, that many of the unit's planes came from Bad Aibling in Bavaria. That is why(according to him) those were chosen for the unit band. Oh, his uncle flew the Me 262B-1a night fighter out of Salzburg.

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