TOS Phaser terminology explained thru pictures

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by WinstonWolf359, Dec 28, 2004.

  1. WinstonWolf359

    WinstonWolf359 Sr Member

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    There is a lot of TOS phaser terminology relating to the various appearances and construction methods that are probably taken for granted by the “old time” phaser fans but are probably at least somewhat confusing to the new people. I thought this might help. Enjoy.

    The phasers seen in the Original Series came in two types, the small hand-held phaser and the larger pistol shaped phaser II. This terminology was used for the first (and only) time in "The Devil in the Dark."

    The phaser I snapped into the pistol grip helping create the larger phaser II, but this was only seen in one episode, “The Enemy Within.”

    [​IMG]

    The handle was the removable power pack for the pistol, seen removed in “The Omega Glory.”

    [​IMG]

    The phaser props that actually had the working mechanisms seen on screen are called the hero props. They were also more detailed and were used mostly for close-up photography. Here’s a hero phaser II seen in “The Cloud Minders” Note the single screw on the underside just in front of the trigger.

    [​IMG]

    At least one hero phaser II had Velcro added to facilitate wearing a hero prop on the utility belt, as seen here in a shot from “The Conscience of the King.” The “Velcro hero” also appeared in the episode “Shore Leave” and is most likely the original hero prop in the collection of Greg J.

    [​IMG]
    The hero pistols were built in two halves with screws holding them together. In their original black and white color scheme the screws were found in different places on different props.

    This phaser, from “Charlie X” has an obvious screw near the front of the pistol.

    [​IMG]

    However, this black and white pistol (from The Man Trap) doesnÂ’t have a screw thereÂ…

    [​IMG]

    This hero from “The Conscience of the King” has a rather large screw visible.

    [​IMG]

    Even more odd is that this pistol seen in “The Conscience of the King” has two screws on the bottom. One near the front of the pistol, and another near the back. Also note that these screws are on the opposite side of the bottom seam from the other hero pistols.

    [​IMG]
    So it would seem that there were three slightly different hero phaser pistols seen in this one episodeÂ… The Velcro hero, the hero with the large screw, and the hero with two screws.

    It would seem the “tombstone” details on the phaser handle are separate pieces attached to the grip, as seen in this unfortunate shot…

    [​IMG]

    The hero phaser I units have a small jewel or bulb on them. It seems that hero phaser I’s most commonly appeared with some kind of detail there, but the “Velcro” phaser I doesn’t have one.

    These are from “Assignment: Earth,” “A Private Little War,” and the book “The Making of Star Trek.” Note how the jewel/bulb on the MoST phaser looks a bit different from the others.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    It’s tough to guess but they all seem to be red jewels/bulbs. Also note the first two pictures are from the same episode (A Private Little War) but show two different hero phasers. The third photo is from “Assignment: Earth” and could very well be the same hero phaser seen in Nona’s hand in pic #2.

    Take a look at thisÂ… probably a rubber stunt phaser I, but the side rail has been painted on to appear that it goes all the way around the phaser. Could one of the hero phasers have actually had a mid-plate that extended all the way around the back of the phaser, and was the guide for painting this prop?

    [​IMG]

    The next step down in the quality scale are the “midgrade” or “dummy” phasers. These phasers have no working features like rising sight covers or lights or removable handles and have slightly simplified detailing and less metal details, most notably the omission of aluminum “cooling fins” on the rear of the pistol and sides of the phaser I.
    It also seems that all midgrade phaser pistols had Velcro for attaching the phaser to the utility belt. Here are a couple “midgrade/dummy” phasers, as seen in “The Omega Glory” and “Plato’s Stepchildren.”

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It is unclear if any black and white midgrade phasers were used on the show.

    Finally, or perhaps “last and least” are the least detailed phasers seen on the Original Series the stunt, or “crapazoid” phasers. These phasers had little, if any, metal parts on them and were crudely made of vacuformed plastic. They are most easily recognized by their awful looking silver glob of a front nozzle and mostly painted on details.

    There were vacuformed phasers seen early in the series in the black and white color scheme, but when repainted they seem to have been painted black and gray, and not the gray and bronze the rest of the phasers were painted.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Some of the early vacuformed phasers apparently had much more detail than the later ones, or it is possible that this is a midgrade phaser with a stunt nozzle. Either way this prop has simulated hero-like details while clearly not being a hero phaser. This shot is from “Shore Leave.”

    [​IMG]

    HereÂ’s a rare sightÂ… A security guard wearing a stunt phaser on his belt but holding a hero phaser. Actually, heÂ’s about to blast Jamie and Ben Finney into nothingness, but I wonÂ’t tell if you wonÂ’t.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. phase pistol

    phase pistol Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Hey that's a farily comprehensive guide.

    Some observations:

    As to p1 jewels, I think there are a couple of instances where they used blue jewels. Trelane's phaser in "Squire of Gothos" is one.

    Or maybe the jewel fell off and we're seeing glue there or something.

    For laffs I grafted a jewel from a Master Replicas communicator onto an Art Asylum phaser (in photoshop, no props were injured in the making of this image):

    So I think it's possible they used the same setup as on the comm and tricorder. makes sense to me anyway.

    Hero p1 midplates: yeah I have reason to believe there may have been a "U-shaped" midplate that went all the way around back. You'll note that the Jein p1 only has ONE side rail

    So that prop is an anomaly. I think a "normal" hero p1 would have the midplate going all the way around.

    That's a real interesting shot of a hero phaser

    [​IMG]

    You'll note that the "side knob" (also called a "dilithium cap") is awfully close to the front/bottom edges of the p2 body.

    Also the tail of the p2 looks awfully LONG on that phaser, but it could be an illusion.

    - karl
     
  3. DrStranglove

    DrStranglove Sr Member

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    Holy crap!!!

    I nominate this thread for the archives right now!!!
     
  4. WinstonWolf359

    WinstonWolf359 Sr Member

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    [​IMG]

    I think the weirdness of this shot probably has to do with "restoration" and whatnot more than any actual differences in the prop. This pic had been through photoshop hell long before I got it.

    It's reasonable to assume that it's the same prop as in this photo, since they are from the same scene of the same episode.

    [​IMG]

    However, since it looks like they used three different hero phasers in filming "The Conscience of the King" I suppose anything is possible...
     
  5. WinstonWolf359

    WinstonWolf359 Sr Member

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    Also, thanks for reminding me about the "Trelane" phaser, Karl.

    It's really * tough to tell what color that jewel is on the Trelane phaser. When I really zoom in on the pic I see nothing but gray in that spot. It could be color bleeding from the body of the hand phaser, it could actually have a gray or black jewel/bulb, or it could very well be blue.

    I'm struck by a couple things about the jewels on phaser I.

    Some seem to have some kind of bezel or collar the jewel sits on...

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    ...and some don't.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And even stranger, look how tall the jewel seems to sit in these pics...

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  6. WinstonWolf359

    WinstonWolf359 Sr Member

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    HereÂ’s a little more on the phaser IÂ’s.

    Most of the hand phasers seen on screen were of the dummy variety, most likely made of rubber. These two from “The Devil in the Dark” and “City on the Edge of Forever.”

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    HereÂ’s an original dummy phaser I from an auction a couple years ago.

    [​IMG]

    Look carefully at this photoÂ…

    [​IMG]

    It’s been mentioned before that it is very possible the two “buttons” on the hero black and white phaser I were actually clear plexiglass and not just little white squares. If you compare the way the light acts on the plexi sight and the two buttons they have the same type of reflections.

    [​IMG]

    Also, this is another original phaser from the same auction as the one above. Note the raised button details molded into the prop. While this doesnÂ’t prove the hero phasers had clear plexi buttons I think it does prove there were buttons, not just thin paper decals on the originals.

    Also, it seems there was one more setting available on the hand phasers that wasnÂ’t ever talked aboutÂ…

    [​IMG]
     
  7. phase pistol

    phase pistol Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I also discovered recently that even after being converted to the "gray" color scheme from B&W midway thru the first season, for awhile some p1s still had the old "two white buttons" power meter... for instance this prop from "Shore Leave". There doesn't seem to be a meter cover, either.

    [​IMG]

    That's a "fight prop" apparently, since Kirk is about to grapple with Finnegan in the next shot.

    The black line thru the phaser is thread holding the prop in place. That prop has an oddly large gray square on top of the p1, trying to impersonate the rising site plate "crispy" that you'd see on a hero prop.

    Also the tenturn knob seems to be painted on.

    From a little earlier in that show, Kirk has a more normal looking prop, with a meter cover, but still apparently the two white squares as in the B&W phasers.

    [​IMG]

    McCoy's phaser (rightmost inset) does have the more normal paper label with plexi meter cover over it.

    - karl
     
  8. blewis17

    blewis17 Sr Member

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    Great stuff! PLEASE ARCHIVE THIS THREAD
     
  9. Howard

    Howard Sr Member

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    I like the possibility of the P1 midplate running around the back.
    This would make sense - as it would form a lip for the latch to hold it in place in the P2.
    Brilliant screencaps, as always!

    Howard.
     
  10. Luke Warmwater

    Luke Warmwater Well-Known Member

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    This would make a great avatar for someone.

    [​IMG]

    Great thread.
     
  11. DrStranglove

    DrStranglove Sr Member

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    This is the kind of stuff I WISH had been in that article about the Communicators the Jlong wrote!!!!!
     
  12. Apollo

    Apollo Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    This MUST be archived!! Excellent work WinstonWolf !! [​IMG]
     
  13. phase pistol

    phase pistol Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    </SPAN><TABLE BORDER=0 ALIGN=CENTER WIDTH=85%><TR><TD CLASS=$row_color>
    WinstonWolf359 wrote:
    <HR></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS=$row_color>
    The phasers seen in the Original Series came in two types, the small hand-held phaser I and the larger pistol shaped phaser II. This terminology was used for the first (and only) time in "The Devil in the Dark."
    </TD></TR><TR><TD><HR></TD></TR></TABLE><SPAN CLASS=$row_color>

    Is that right? I know they referred cryptically to "hand phasers" in several episodes but they seemed to mean type 1 or 2 interchangeably.

    Before they came up with the phrase "set phasers on stun!" there were early first-season references to phaser settings such as "base cycle", "stunning force", "one-quarter", and possibly others.

    In the second and third seasons, dummy pistol phasers were seen almost exclusively, unless it was a big deal to not appear to be armed, in which case they brought the type ones.

    That scene of Sulu snapping a type-1 into the pistol is very strange, since from the context of the story, you'd expect him to be changing the power pack GRIP instead.

    The explicit references to "reserve belt packs" and the onscreen appearance of separated power pack grips in "Omega Glory" is intriguing, since despite the fact that it was a second-season episode, the script had been written for use as a possible second-pilot episode for the series.

    The phaser concept also allowed for the type 2 pistol to be snapped into a "rifle stock" (according to "The Making of Star Trek"), but we never saw that on screen or heard it referred to.

    The phaser design was fleshed out by Matt Jefferies... here are a couple of early sketches you guys might find interesting. Handwritten labels have been replaced with more readable type.

    [​IMG]

    Note in the drawing Jefferies calls the powerpack grip "unit no. 3", and implies the rifle stock is "unit no. 4".

    [​IMG]

    - Karl
     
  14. jhusel

    jhusel Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    VERY cool pics Karl. You got any more Phaser Blue Prints?
     
  15. phase pistol

    phase pistol Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Nothing I can post right now! [​IMG]

    - Karl
     
  16. jhusel

    jhusel Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    you TEASE!


    [​IMG] - Well send them to me via email if you can. I won't share! [​IMG]



    Jhusel
     
  17. phase pistol

    phase pistol Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Just a little project I was working on...

    [​IMG]
     
  18. jhusel

    jhusel Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Cool. Looks like that blueprint from the old Trek Manual put out years ago.

    Jhusel
     
  19. phase pistol

    phase pistol Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Yeah I was trying to update Franz Joseph's somewhat inaccurate phaser drawing. [​IMG]

    - K
     
  20. jhusel

    jhusel Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Yeah, it needs some help for sure. I remember when I first got that book, I thought it was the coolest thing ever. I thought it was EXACT to the real thing. I was so young and naive back then! [​IMG]

    Can't wait to see the finished product!

    Jhusel
     
  21. WinstonWolf359

    WinstonWolf359 Sr Member

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    </SPAN><TABLE BORDER=0 ALIGN=CENTER WIDTH=85%><TR><TD CLASS=$row_color>
    phase pistol wrote:
    <HR></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS=$row_color>
    <TABLE BORDER=0 ALIGN=CENTER WIDTH=85%><TR><TD CLASS=$row_color>
    WinstonWolf359 wrote:
    <HR></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS=$row_color>
    The phasers seen in the Original Series came in two types, the small hand-held phaser I and the larger pistol shaped phaser II. This terminology was used for the first (and only) time in "The Devil in the Dark."
    </TD></TR><TR><TD><HR></TD></TR></TABLE>

    Is that right? I know they referred cryptically to "hand phasers" in several episodes but they seemed to mean type 1 or 2 interchangeably.
    </TD></TR><TR><TD><HR></TD></TR></TABLE>

    Yeah, they made a point to mention that the Pergium miners had only phaser number one, but Kirk pointed out "but we have phaser number two!"

    Maybe he just meant he'd seen the vacuformed pistols and thought they looked like number two... [​IMG]

    <TABLE BORDER=0 ALIGN=CENTER WIDTH=85%><TR><TD CLASS=$row_color>Quote:<HR></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS=$row_color>
    In the second and third seasons, dummy pistol phasers were seen almost exclusively, unless it was a big deal to not appear to be armed, in which case they brought the type ones.
    </TD></TR><TR><TD><HR></TD></TR></TABLE><SPAN CLASS=$row_color>

    Yeah, third season especially it seemed everyone carried a phaser all the time, even McCoy wore a phaser a lot more third season.

    I think they stopped using the hand phasers in TOS for the same reason the Cricket phaser disappeared after season two of TNG...You couldn't really see the phaser if they weren't in a close up so it just looked like they had phaser beams shooting out of their fingers...
     
  22. phase pistol

    phase pistol Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re the ubiquitous 3rd season pistol phasers, I imagine Fred Freiberger taking over as Exective Producer probably had something to do with it as well.

    "I want to see ray guns dammit!"

    - k
     
  23. WinstonWolf359

    WinstonWolf359 Sr Member

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    Good point.

    We did get some pretty good close ups of the phasers in the third season...

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  24. phase pistol

    phase pistol Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Those are all dummies except for the dirt phaser.

    That was another phenomenon of the second and third season - using dummy props for both longshots AND closeups.

    - k
     
  25. Eriee D

    Eriee D New Member

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    I must agree from before. I love this thread. It has been the most informative about the TOS phaser I've see in a while. I kinda lost the luv after getting and selling my MR phaser. I want one of those dummies without the alum. rails now. The seems to be the one we all saw and loved the most. keep the info coming.
    ALSO... the new tech manual phaser page. BRILLIANT! I want to rip out the old one and put that one in it's place.
     
  26. WinstonWolf359

    WinstonWolf359 Sr Member

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    I remember when I was a kid I'd trace that page in the old Tech Manual and "fix" the details as best I could.

    But Karl's blueprint rocks! That's what I wish the page had looked like from the beginning.

    Any chance you're going to "fix" the tricorder and communicator pages too?

    [​IMG]
     
  27. phase pistol

    phase pistol Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    It could happen. [​IMG]
     
  28. mgoob

    mgoob Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    </SPAN><TABLE BORDER=0 ALIGN=CENTER WIDTH=85%><TR><TD CLASS=$row_color>Quote:<HR></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS=$row_color>
    Also the tenturn knob seems to be painted on!
    </TD></TR><TR><TD><HR></TD></TR></TABLE><SPAN CLASS=$row_color>

    Krikey!

    Never seen one like this before!
    Wonder if the whole phaser was a stunt w/ painted details elsewhere. Odd for a 1st season show; I'd have thought they'd have enough 10-turn knobs to go around.
     
  29. Hiyata99

    Hiyata99 New Member

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    Excellent idea Matt! Well thought out and executed.

    G
     
  30. Captain JTK

    Captain JTK New Member

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    Thanks Matt! At least here, people's posts won't be deleted. In the wise words of Braveheart, "Freedom!"

    Again, awesome work.
     
  31. WinstonWolf359

    WinstonWolf359 Sr Member

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    Thanks guys! I'm glad so many people found this helpful. I know even I get confused sometimes talking about this stuff because of all the variations and whatnot associated with the TOS phasers.

    [​IMG]
     
  32. yodaman

    yodaman Sr Member

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    archived
     
  33. DrStranglove

    DrStranglove Sr Member

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    Reliving old old threads....

    I do wish these photos were still part of the thread.
     
  34. James Kenobi 1138

    James Kenobi 1138 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Wow, reliving old old RPFers ! Where have you been ?
     
  35. Sean

    Sean Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I wish the pic's were there also.
     
  36. DrStranglove

    DrStranglove Sr Member

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    Got off active duty with the USMC and got a job.... Been an honest working man for about three years now. Who would have thunk it...?


    :)
     
  37. mobius303

    mobius303 Well-Known Member

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    I think I have saved most of the pictures from this thread. Too bad we cannot see them in the thread now.

    This is a great trip down memory lane.
     
  38. Sean

    Sean Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Hey Mobius. would you be willing to share the pic's? I would love to see them...



    Sean..
     
  39. mobius303

    mobius303 Well-Known Member

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    I cannot post pics on this forum right now.
    Working on it though.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2013
  40. mobius303

    mobius303 Well-Known Member

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    back-rail.jpg kt-ATL-sm.gif
    See if you can see that pic
    I cannot post pics on this forum right now.
    Working on it though.
     
  41. mobius303

    mobius303 Well-Known Member

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  42. mobius303

    mobius303 Well-Known Member

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    hero-belt.jpg finney.jpg heroandstunt.jpg rubber-1.jpg rubber-2.jpg screw.jpg sg-trelanephaserjewel.jpg trelane.jpg


    There is one AA phaser with jewel that I posted. I beleive it was a part of this thread as it is in my archive from this thread.
    I will post what pictures I can over the next couple of days.
    I leave it to you guys to discuss them.
    Mobius

    - - - Updated - - -

    grip.jpg ObsessionKirk.jpg shave.jpg phaser2-jeff.jpg SL-METERSkirkmccoy2.jpg SL-METERkirkfightprop.jpg
     
  43. WinstonWolf359

    WinstonWolf359 Sr Member

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    Man, I didn't realize this thread was still kicking around! :)

    I still have all those pics, so I'll see if I can't get a chance to update the links. I'm not sure what broke them. It probably happened in one of the various board server moves.
     
    RayR likes this.
  44. mobius303

    mobius303 Well-Known Member

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    AssnEarth1.jpg 3rdPh2.gif distroy2.jpg DOTM-helennoelherodummy.jpg PLW-spockphaserrun.jpg suluphaser1.jpg TruthBeautP1CU-colorfix.jpg
    sl-kirk-anomalyphaser.jpg Khan2.jpg

    - - - Updated - - -

    No problem man....I am glad I archived as much as I did in the past.
    Thanks for trying to fix them as well.
    Let me know if you need any help.
    Mobius
     
    RayR likes this.
  45. DrStranglove

    DrStranglove Sr Member

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    Thanks Wolf..!
     

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