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Cricket's WTF Hero Build (even more TK for the Vertically Challenged)

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Moving along to modify the belt and knee ammo pack a little...

They are flat and need some shaping.  My waist line is so small and curved that it necessitates adding some bends to the belt.  If I don't add some curving to it, the plastic ends of the belt will flare out and ruin the nice profile that the belt should have.  If you have a wider torso than mine, then you won't have to deal with this kind of thing.  Lucky you!  And adding some curve to the ammo pack just makes installation easier. 

 

Here you can see the belt before the hot water dip.  I use chemical gloves to protect my hands from the boiling water and to easily handle the hot items as I shape them.

 

40271376265_0ee58bac10_c.jpg

 

I also use a pair of paint stir sticks taped together to help clamp part of the belt flat while I bend it.  So, at the end of the belt I want it to curve a little, but just where it meets the box, and I also want it to keep kind of a flat shape.  So I clamp the belt with the stir sticks next to the last box (like in the photo below) after I've dipped that section in the hot water to soften it.  )You can do this same process to the middle sections as well if necessary.)

 

39357079350_2877c8df56.jpg

 

Then I just apply gentle pressure and bend it where the box and the clamps meet.  The stir sticks are wide enough that they just fit between the boxes of the WTF belt.  After a few minutes of shaping, I ended up with a gentle curve in my belt and ammo pack without any warping or loss of detail.

 

39357080150_947c5ac0dd_c.jpg

 

If you don't like how your bends are coming along, just redip the part of the belt you don't like, and let it sit in the boiling water for several seconds.  It will return to its previous shape without any coaxing.  Try again from there until you end up where you want.  :)  

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I'm now at the point of the build where snaps are necessary.  Not everyone uses snaps for connections, and that's okay.  I like snaps- especially for the arms- because that allows me to fully nest the arm and leg parts inside each other (and all that goes inside the torso shell) when putting everything together in my half bin.

 

I also like to make sure that my snaps are built with an extra layer of ABS in them.  Not only does it make the snap strong, but it makes removing the snaps a breeze when dekitting!  All you need to do is get the edge of your finger under the corner, and POP!  Super easy.  I start with some extra ABS pieces cut to the same width as the elastic.

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Mark the centers.

 

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Punch the holes.

 

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Make an ABS sandwich with the elastic.

 

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Punch your elastic holes so everything is lined up.  You can also punch everything at one time if you have the strength to do so.

 

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And there ya go.

 

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I also melt the edges of the elastic with a lighter to ensure that the elastic doesn't fray.  Works great!

 

Another trick that I thought I'd share is marking snap positions.  Here you can see I've got a snap plate installed on my chest.  I like making a double snap here for extra security.  Not everyone does (elastic glued here is canon), so do what works for you!

 

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The female halves will be assembled using an ABS plate inside the elastic strap, so the positions must be absolutely perfect because the female snap parts will be rigid.  Now, I could spend time measuring, remeasuring, and remeasuring this in order to get the other halves of the snaps in the perfect positions.  But instead of spending lots of time measuring it all, I just use a metallic sharpie on the snaps, making sure that there is a lot of ink on the snaps.  You just need enough so that it doesn't dry before the next step.  I like using the metallic sharpies for this because it takes a longer time for the metallic ink to dry- which gives me a little more time to work.

 

40476437905_b984b572fc.jpg

 

Then I pressed the elastic exactly where I wanted it to go over the male halves.  This ends up making a perfect mark for where I need my female snaps to go.

 

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Then I make my holes in the elastic and ABS plates.

 

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And install the snaps.

 

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Here is the snap before putting it together...

39561847450_6b8fa0915b.jpg

 

Yay!  Perfect fit!

 

26499869447_703d43f107.jpg

 

 

Edited by Cricket
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Today, stirrups!  These will keep your shins snug against your boots and prevent them from twisting around.  These are super easy to make.  Here's how I did mine!

 

Get a length of elastic.  The stuff I'm using is 1.5" wide.  You want enough to wrap under your foot, into the boot, and allow for extra- a few inches or so.

27545332178_9bc4738942.jpg26545245047_6485f942c9.jpg41374178592_1eedb6d5ae.jpg

 

 

This length looks good to me!

 

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So I measured two of these- one for each foot.

 

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I want a large surface to stick to the inside of the shin with these, so I choose to sew the elastics together to make the ends 2" across.  My velcro is 1" wide, so I'll be using two strips of velcro on each stirrup.

 

40521195295_30e39c3268.jpg

 

I pinned them together and decided to make the length of the velcro/sewn section 2.5" long. 

 

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Be sure to make a looped section at the bottom of the stirrup.  This will make them easier to step into.  Like this!

 

41374170182_f84578a2a3.jpg41416684021_17ee15756f.jpg

 

Now that I'm happy with the fit, it's time to sew.  I did a quick double stitch along where the two pieces of the elastic overlap.

 

26545244547_19d1d959d9.jpg

 

Then stuck my pieces of velcro on top.  I used my sticky velcro because that's what I've got on hand. 

 

40702183264_0bbb586913.jpg

 

You'll have to clean your machine needle if you're sewing the sticky stuff!

 

40702178984_9a36175c98.jpg

 

Now it's time to try it on!

 

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View from inside the shin.  This is before I put the looped part of the velcro inside the shin.  You'll definitely need sticky velcro for that!

 

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Once I had figured out where the hook velcro of the stirrup would be placed in the shin, I eyeballed where to place the loop pieces of velcro.  I use black velcro here instead of white because it's easier to see when putting on your shins.  Always put more loop velcro inside than you think you'll need!  

 

40702190974_38d3468a49_c.jpg

 

Stirrup installed!  

 

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That shin isn't going anywhere I don't want it to now.    No more worries about the shins twisting or riding up on my boots.  Shin stirrups rock!

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What are the dimensions of the shin magnets?

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3 hours ago, LTM said:

What are the dimensions of the shin magnets?

 

They are 12mm x 3mm n50 magnets.  You'll need a total of 20 magnets for the shins (10 on each shin).  I strongly suggest buying more than 20, though.  I've found that they can easily break, and you'll want backups on hand!  You can find them in bulk- and cheap!- on eBay.  The cheapest I've seen over there recently is about $3.50 for 20, including shipping.  Most of the time they ship from China, so be prepared to wait a few weeks.  Totally worth the cost savings, though!

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Ahhh how have I missed all the updates?? Looking great, Christine! I had no idea the WTF ab plates are nonstandard since it's the only kit I've worked with. Really fun figuring out the quirks of each makers' kit.

Edited by shashachu
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On ‎13‎/‎04‎/‎2018 at 7:09 PM, Cricket said:

 

They are 12mm x 3mm n50 magnets.  You'll need a total of 20 magnets for the shins (10 on each shin).  I strongly suggest buying more than 20, though.  I've found that they can easily break, and you'll want backups on hand!  You can find them in bulk- and cheap!- on eBay.  The cheapest I've seen over there recently is about $3.50 for 20, including shipping.  Most of the time they ship from China, so be prepared to wait a few weeks.  Totally worth the cost savings, though!

Hi Christine,

JenEcho put me onto your thread and it really is great.

For the magnetic shins - I'm really tempted to have a go at these. Why did you choose to make magnet "buttons" rather than the steel strip? Do you get better shin hold? And would you consider 12mm x 2mm magnets?

Also - how much clearance do you have on the inside between you and the thigh-piece? Think mine are too big (girth) but won't mess with them unless I know they are wrong. Trying to hear from others what they have allowed.

Look forward to following more of your build!

Edited by Roverpus
additional info

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9 hours ago, shashachu said:

Ahhh how have I missed all the updates?? Looking great, Christine! I had no idea the WTF ab plates are nonstandard since it's the only kit I've worked with. Really fun figuring out the quirls of each makers' kit.

 

Thanks!  It has been very interesting discovering how different- yet similar- the different kits are.  The whole ab plate thing isn't a huge deal, really. Having those extra little edges to the ab plate isn't something that is scrutinized over, but I wanted them on mine.  It's likely that no one but me will notice that kind of detail.  It's so easy to get buried in the minutiae of this kind of project, isn't it?  Then when you're actually out in the world trooping and making kids smile, none of the detail stuff seems to matter anymore.  :)  

Although I will say that sometimes details do get noticed, but it's by other troopers.  For example, I spent hours drilling out my resin scope on my Hasbro e-11, adding a reflector disc and red film (with hand-drawn crosshairs) waaaaay back inside, then adding a lens to finish it.  It made me happy to upgrade the standard resin scope into something with more bling, which is why I did it.  After I was done with painting and weathering, I kind of forgot about it.   But when out trooping and holding my blaster, I've been asked multiple times by other troopers if my scope is real, and they ask to take a closer look at it.  It usually takes me by surprise because I don't even think about the scope on the blaster now. 

 

 27647800268_0bee6f9a63.jpg

 

I suppose that as long as building details are reasonably accurate and make you happy, then do it!  :)  

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3 hours ago, Roverpus said:

JenEcho put me onto your thread and it really is great.

For the magnetic shins - I'm really tempted to have a go at these. Why did you choose to make magnet "buttons" rather than the steel strip? Do you get better shin hold?

 

Thank you!  :)  I hope it's able to help you!

 

Yes, I chose to do a magnet-to-magnet closure rather than a magnet-to-steel closure simply because the magnet-to-magnet connection is much stronger.  I don't know if all that strength is necessary, but it works perfectly for me.  I couldn't find a metal strip that had the same 'grab strength' as a magnet-to-magnet connection.

 

3 hours ago, Roverpus said:

And would you consider 12mm x 2mm magnets?

 

Hm. I'm not entirely sure!  Just a guess, but I don't think I would use a thinner magnet because the 3mm magnets seem to be the perfect thickness for the ABS on the shins.  I am farirly sure that you need the magnets to be the same thickness as the ABS you're working with.  On my RS and WTF shins, the ABS was 3mm thick on the cover strips.  Also, if you are using thinner magnets, they may end up being a little more fragile.  And I'm totally guessing here, but thinner magnets might not be as strong?  

 

3 hours ago, Roverpus said:

Also - how much clearance do you have on the inside between you and the thigh-piece? Think mine are too big (girth) but won't mess with them unless I know they are wrong.

 

Ah, the thigh-fit question!  I had the same questions, too.  Some troopers prefer them to fit more like board shorts, kind of loose around the legs.  I've heard everything from leaving 3" of space to leaving about an 1" of space around.  Me, I prefer my thigh armor to fit well on my legs.  I don't like them rattling around on me.  I don't have a lot of space in mine.  They're not super tight, but they certainly don't rattle around.  Mine fit me like a pair of comfy jeans around my thighs- not too loose, but not too tight, either.  They are tapered, meaning that they are larger at the top, and smaller at the bottom. (me, short trooper in my RS Props kit)


34937374894_bafae3810f.jpg

Hope that helps!

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1 hour ago, Cricket said:

Then when you're actually out in the world trooping and making kids smile, none of the detail stuff seems to matter anymore.  :)  

Aint that the truth of it all?  I have had to tell myself during my build to stop sweating over the really small stuff as only I and who ever reads my forum post will know 

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1 hour ago, StrmTRPR85 said:

Aint that the truth of it all?  I have had to tell myself during my build to stop sweating over the really small stuff as only I and who ever reads my forum post will know 

We know Jeff, we know  :)

 

Do NOT fail the empire!  j/k

 

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Discovered today that gaffer's tape holds much better than blue tape for temporary strapping when fitting!  Yeah, it's more expensive than blue tape, but you don't use nearly as much gaffer's tape, and it can be re-used much of the time.  I was able to use it to secure my shoulder elastics and shoulder bell elastics in these test fitting shots today.   I'm still building and adjusting things- please disregard the missing items on the armor!

 

Left side rivets all lined up.  Ab/kidney meets level at the top.  

40630679615_54abe3ce39.jpg

 

Right side kidney/ab connection is only secured with the Han snap elastic here.  I'm working on the belt, so I don't have it on in these shots.  Remember, the belt isn't necessarily there to pull things together; the armor should come together pretty well without it!  I'll need my belt to snug up how the kidney/ab open up a little bit near the bottom of the connection when I move my arm like in the photo, but it's no biggie.

 

39715097140_a01545ee66.jpg

 

It is ridiculously difficult to get a rear selfie shot in a mirror!  My back plate looks like it's overlapping the kidney, but it's not.  It's sitting right on top of the kidney due to a bit of foam that I have inside the back plate.  Maybe I'll take a little off of the foam to keep it a bit closer to me.

 

39715097120_67df257afa.jpg

 

I still have to adjust the chest.  I don't like how it's sitting a little lower on the left hand side, so I'll need to fix that.  Shoulders seem like they're tight to the chest (minimal gaps) when my arms are relaxed, but I can still easily move them around.  I'm happy with this.

 

39715097220_54af7d6196.jpg

 

If anyone sees anything glaring about how things look, please let me know.  The interesting thing about this kit is that I have not trimmed any of the length on the arms yet, and they seem to fit pretty well. 

 

I took about 1.25" off the bottom of the chest, and removed about 1.25" off the cod/ab connection.  I trimmed about 5mm off of the sides of the chest where it meets the ab, but I've not removed anything on the chest around the arms.  I don't think I'll need to remove much off of the thighs at all.  (I'll be getting to the thighs next.)

 

Overall, there has been much, much less to size down on this kit compared to the RS Props kit.  

Edited by Cricket
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Your build looks great so far :)

 

I was fortunate enough to fit Mark's AP kit pretty much "off the rack"......watching the builders here who have to take it up a notch with fitting, trimming, shimming, etc......:icon_bow:

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Discovered today that gaffer's tape holds much better than blue tape for temporary strapping when fitting!  Yeah, it's more expensive than blue tape, but you don't use nearly as much gaffer's tape, and it can be re-used much of the time.  I was able to use it to secure my shoulder elastics and shoulder bell elastics in these test fitting shots today.   I'm still building and adjusting things- please disregard the missing items on the armor!
 
Left side rivets all lined up.  Ab/kidney meets level at the top.  
40630679615_54abe3ce39.jpg
 
Right side kidney/ab connection is only secured with the Han snap elastic here.  I'm working on the belt, so I don't have it on in these shots.  Remember, the belt isn't necessarily there to pull things together; the armor should come together pretty well without it!  I'll need my belt to snug up how the kidney/ab open up a little bit near the bottom of the connection when I move my arm like in the photo, but it's no biggie.
 
39715097140_a01545ee66.jpg
 
It is ridiculously difficult to get a rear selfie shot in a mirror!  My back plate looks like it's overlapping the kidney, but it's not.  It's sitting right on top of the kidney due to a bit of foam that I have inside the back plate.  Maybe I'll take a little off of the foam to keep it a bit closer to me.
 
39715097120_67df257afa.jpg
 
I still have to adjust the chest.  I don't like how it's sitting a little lower on the left hand side, so I'll need to fix that.  Shoulders seem like they're tight to the chest (minimal gaps) when my arms are relaxed, but I can still easily move them around.  I'm happy with this.
 
39715097220_54af7d6196.jpg
 
If anyone sees anything glaring about how things look, please let me know.  The interesting thing about this kit is that I have not trimmed any of the length on the arms yet, and they seem to fit pretty well. 
 
I took about 1.25" off the bottom of the chest, and removed about 1.25" off the cod/ab connection.  I trimmed about 5mm off of the sides of the chest where it meets the ab, but I've not removed anything on the chest around the arms.  I don't think I'll need to remove much off of the thighs at all.  (I'll be getting to the thighs next.)
 
Overall, there has been much, much less to size down on this kit compared to the RS Props kit.  
Hey Christine,

I agree about the chest hanging, looks a little tilted but that could just be the way you're standing.

Hows your arm movement at the elbow? Even if it functions well I personally prefer to see a bit of black at the elbow rather than the pieces fitting tight. Seeing the black helps with the visual balance.

Otherwise looking good...as expected.

Here's mine for reference. I think we're close to the same size.


659a4671d9fd98f31b8999d577555daf.jpg

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk

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14 hours ago, fragarock said:

Hows your arm movement at the elbow? Even if it functions well I personally prefer to see a bit of black at the elbow rather than the pieces fitting tight. Seeing the black helps with the visual balance.

 

Hey Frank!  Good to see you are still around.  Thanks for the feedback on my build.  :)

 

The movement on the arms at the elbow is surprisingly good.  I cut deeper into the inner forearms in order to accomodate better movement and prevent armor bites.  

 

I'm actually going for a tighter fitting connection at the elbow because I'm trying to emulate the Luke Hero suit.  You can see in some of these screen shots how close the forearm and bicep are together when Mark's arms are relaxed.  His biceps tend to ride low on him, too.

 

27667400718_4cdbcdf95a_c.jpg

 

41496517052_e8465e159f_c.jpg

 

I still have to install the left forearm on the right arm (I am wearing the right forearm in the photos), but it will be similar to how it is in the pics.  The Luke suit also has overlap on the left arm between the forearm and bicep- I don't know if I want to go that far with this, though.  It doesn't look comfortable at all, and I don't think it'll pass at the higher level awards here.  That said, there is nothing in the CRL about overlapping biceps/forearms.  Hm.  It's not a huge deal, but I suppose I should probably ask Tony about this!

 

At any rate, I won't be able to do a Luke suit as well as I had hoped with this kit, no matter what mods I make to it.  The proportions seem 'off' on some things, and I can't compensate for that.  For example, the back plate.  

40644529245_33e247a456_c.jpg

 

And me:

39715097120_67df257afa.jpg

 

Even if I cut more off the bottom and sides of the back plate, it still won't look like what's on screen in ANH.  Here you can see the difference between my RS (left) and WTF (right) back plates.  The RS OII box is more rectangular in shape and is larger overall (RS box is 20 x 15.5cm, WTF is 19 x 15cm).   The OII shapes themselves are different, too.

 

33908924933_1920b21853.jpg

 

These are really small things overall, but things I wish I could change.  Will I eventually work with another RS kit again to get exactly the Luke suit I want?  Heck yeah!

 

Will these things prevent me from trying to do the best Luke suit I can with what I've got?  Not at all!  :)   I'm done with my griping... it's time to get this kit finished!

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Additional thoughts on this. 

 

I'm guessing that on a movie set, they wouldn't have the time to do these crazy mods to the armor like I have.  Like creating new returns on the kidney, or cutting down the cod piece.   Things would be altered on a "quick and dirty" type basis I assume.

 

The only places I see big cuts on the armor are the bottom of the back and bottom of the chest.  So maybe I've been approaching this all wrong.  Maybe I should not have altered the cod or kidney in any way at all, but instead, made all of my cuts to the back and chest alone.  Hm. 

 

I think I know what I need to do now.  I'll report more once I'm done.

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Yeee haaawwww!!!
41532114964_82bcaf414a_o.gif

 

I opened the door this morning and discovered my replacement parts have arrived!!!!  So much happy happy joy joy!!!  

 

I can finally recommence with the build.  The clock is ticking for me because I'm scheduled for hernia surgery in June and I won't be able to do much of anything for a while after that.  I had two c-sections with my kids, and built a patio set in less than a week (all by myself!)... Building and moving the furniture caused the hernia on my c-section scar.  The patio set is pretty nice, though... and I now call it, "The Hernia Collection":

 

41532425494_4e5e714665_z.jpg

 

Time to cut some plastic now!

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Nice Cricket. Looking forward to it. I also wanted to say how amazing this build thread is. Maybe it will inspire my fiance' to get herself in some white armor ;)

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7 hours ago, Cricket said:

"The Hernia Collection":

Or: Let`s hang out in the c-sectionB)

 

kidding aside, hoping all goes well and that you have a speedy recovery:salute:

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I was born by Caesarean section, but you really can't tell... except that when I leave my house, I always go out the window.
- Steven Wright

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16 hours ago, LTM said:

I was born by Caesarean section, but you really can't tell... except that when I leave my house, I always go out the window.
- Steven Wright

 

16 hours ago, TheSwede said:

Or: Let`s hang out in the c-sectionB)

 

:laugh1:    I always appreciate good c-section humor!   When life throws unwanted things at me, I always try to find some sort of humor in them.  I never had a choice about my c-sections (I was pretty upset about this) because both my kids were breech (my kids really wanted to be different even before they were born!). 

 

One of my Steven Wright favorites:  "I'm addicted to placebos. I'd give them up, but it wouldn't make any difference."  

 

Thanks for the laugh!  

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On ‎5‎/‎21‎/‎2018 at 8:41 AM, Cricket said:

I had two c-sections with my kids, and built a patio set in less than a week (all by myself!)...

When I first read this sentence, it sounded like you had twins and built a patio set all in a week! Before or after giving birth, that would be impressive! (Most impressive)

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2 minutes ago, lucnak said:

When I first read this sentence, it sounded like you had twins and built a patio set all in a week! Before or after giving birth, that would be impressive! (Most impressive)

 

Yeah, that sentence is awkward...  I built the patio furniture in less than a week.  The kids took a little longer to put together.  

 

And I'm going to finally mention that your avatar pic with your baby BB-8 just melts my heart every time I see it.  So much cuteness!

Edited by Cricket
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