Honiton

Tell us about your layout, where you put it, how you built it, how you operate it.
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Denis Perkins
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Honiton

Postby Denis Perkins » Tue Jan 14, 2014 5:48 pm

Time to join in!

For now, just a quick intro to my developing representation of Honiton station c1956. The story of why this location and period, might well filter through in due course although there is a slowly progressing web site/blog under construction with some of the story. This is being updated even slower than I model - see link below.

Another good reason to sign up was the satisfaction of having at last arrived at what resembles trains taking to the rails. After about 8 years on this project and endless stop start progress, mostly stop, a dose of concentrated effort post retirement, appears to be having an effect.

I always enjoy seeing video clips on the forum so hope you won't mind me posting a few on here. First clip is a recently (nearly) completed PDK 700, with Hornby Maunsells, once again needing more than a touch of finishing, converted per usual method (straight wheel replacement and repositioned brakegear) and with trimmed down MJT gangways.

https://vimeo.com/84068560

and reversing into siding

https://vimeo.com/84068559

This time with a mix of kit built and ready to run wagons (again all unfinished - a common thread seems to be developing here) all bar 2, being straight wheel swaps.

https://vimeo.com/84068561

reversing again

https://vimeo.com/84068562

The fact that this assemblage of largely rigid chassis vehicles traversed all of my far from perfect trackwork without falling off, both pulled and pushed, so long as pushed at an appropriately respectful speed, instilled a very comfortable feeling of satisfaction. More importantly, it is great motivation to get on and do more. It has to be said though, that my modeling skills at best barely nudge average so don't expect many close ups in future posts!

Hope these links are set up OK - I'm new to this! Will try again if need to.

Be back soon (that's relative - my soon can be a long time!)

DP

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Andy W
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Re: Honiton

Postby Andy W » Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:11 pm

Nice.
Make Worcestershire great again.
Build a wall along the Herefordshire border and make them pay for it.

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Honiton

Postby grovenor-2685 » Tue Jan 14, 2014 7:24 pm

Those are very nice, the loco has a lovely smooth start and stop and the track looks very good to me.
Keith

Andrew Ullyott
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Re: Honiton

Postby Andrew Ullyott » Tue Jan 14, 2014 9:53 pm

Very nice indeed.
Look forward to seeing more of this as it develops.

DougN
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Re: Honiton

Postby DougN » Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:13 am

Denis, you should not be so hard on your achievements, the loco and the trains are running nicely in forward and reverse.

Personally I would love it if I could have a layout and rolling stock that run so nicely! :thumb
Doug
Still not doing enough modelling

Terry Bendall
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Re: Honiton

Postby Terry Bendall » Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:48 am

Denis Perkins wrote:After about 8 years on this project and endless stop start progress, mostly stop, a dose of concentrated effort post retirement, appears to be having an effect.


Given the scale of the project Denis, I don't think you should be displeased with the progress. Just the baseboards alone are a major undertaking and that is before you get to the track.

Denis Perkins wrote:The fact that this assemblage of largely rigid chassis vehicles traversed all of my far from perfect trackwork without falling off, both pulled and pushed, so long as pushed at an appropriately respectful speed, instilled a very comfortable feeling of satisfaction.


It just goes to show that you can do such things successfully without the need for compensation or springing, should that be your chosen path.

Very nice indeed. Is the layout just for use at home or do you intend to take it to exhibitions? Just a little thought I have. :twisted:

Terry Bendall

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Denis Perkins
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Re: Honiton

Postby Denis Perkins » Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:33 pm

Thanks all, for your kind and encouraging comments.

Yes, I am more than pleased with the running of this loco. Having completed a number of loco kits over the years I was beginning to wonder if I would get to something that would run this well. Sure, just about everything before was a runner but nothing reached a standard that really pleased - I was beginning to feel this was my modeling Achilles heel. However, largely thanks to studying the many contributions on the forum relating to aspects of chassis building I've now got my head round it and am confident of successfully repeating the task. Also, for me, the use of a chassis jig has more than simplified the task of achieving a successful result. One thing I have learnt the hard way is to have a bit more patience and perseverance, the end result is quicker in the long run: don't move on to the next stage until the one you are on is as it should be - the accumulation of errors can prove fatal!

Anyway, the result is that most of my previously built chassis have been returned to 'works' for tweaking or rebuilding where necessary and I'm now actually looking forward to it!

Terry, the question of rigid or sprung is an interesting one on this layout and has a pragmatic bearing on why the location was chosen (apart from any emotive issue which steered me in this direction). Essentially, I wanted to create a picture of trains either trundling or rushing through, (in the chosen stuation, to and from Honiton summit) mostly non stop but with the occasional stopping semi fast. This location lends itself well for such operation with pulled only fixed rakes, so the option of rigid vehicles seemed to suggest itself as the most appropriate way forward. Moreover, my philosophy is that the rolling stock can lack a bit of detail and finesse in such a situation and that gifts a bit more time to build the quantity of stock required. It's the bigger picture I'm looking at, not the detail

Vehicles moving through the yard however, given the more limited number involved, provides the opportunity for a bit more effort in trying to produce something a little more accurate and yes, for this situation the idea would be that these would all be sprung.

Is the layout just for use at home or do you intend to take it to exhibitions? Just a little thought I have.


Interesting this. More than likely it's a stay at home. However, when I started the project it had certainly crossed my mind that if completion was ever anywhere near reached and to an acceptable standard, then if an opportunity arose to show, then that would be considered. I was thinking locally though. With that in mind portabily has been built in as a prime consideration, so never say never. The big stumbling point in this respect though, is lack of bodies. Working on my own will probably mean I'll be too old by the time its ready! Nevertheless, if I can imagine a way to get others involved to speed up progress, then that might get me thinking the thoughts you have! So perhaps I should ask - if there's anyone near to me needing a project to get involved with, (no financial input required) then let me know.

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jayell
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Re: Honiton

Postby jayell » Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:58 pm

Hi Dennis
I see from your web site that you were a competetive cyclist for many years. What discipline? I too started cycling in my early teens doing mass-start road racing as a member of the BLRC. I dropped out of cycling when I left the RAF but got involved again in my 50s and ended up doing cross-country mountain bike racing.

After I retired from full time work I was offered a chance to work as a mountain bike coach and cycle mechanic looking after a fleet of 20 odd bikes. So I ended up getting paid for doing what I would have been doing anyway. This came to an end when I had a heavy fall and damaged my spine, I still have back problems but as it happens not whilst cycling.

I decided to sell my last bike whan I turned 80 as I was finding it harder and harder to maintain my enthusiasm.

bike.jpg
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Those are road tyres on the bike as there are very few offroad trails here in Somerst unlike Dorset where there are hundreds (probably) of miles of good trails.

John

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Flymo748
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Re: Honiton

Postby Flymo748 » Thu Jan 16, 2014 6:29 am

Denis Perkins wrote:The big stumbling point in this respect though, is lack of bodies. Working on my own will probably mean I'll be too old by the time its ready! Nevertheless, if I can imagine a way to get others involved to speed up progress, then that might get me thinking the thoughts you have! So perhaps I should ask - if there's anyone near to me needing a project to get involved with, (no financial input required) then let me know.

Hi Denis,

I see that you are up in the Norfolk Broads. You could make contact with the Norfolk and Suffolk Area Group (http://www.scalefour.org/areagroups/norfolk.html) and become part of their activities. From the joint meetings that we in CHEAG have had with them, they are an extremely friendly bunch, and good enthusiastic modellers too.

You website is interesting and tells a good story. Have you thought of providing details of it to the Society's Webmaster, so that it can appear on the list of Members' websites? http://www.scalefour.org/sites/sites.html

I'm looking forward to see more of the layout in future.
Cheers
Flymo
Beware of Trains - occasional modelling in progress!
www.5522models.co.uk

Terry Bendall
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Re: Honiton

Postby Terry Bendall » Thu Jan 16, 2014 8:22 am

Denis Perkins wrote:if an opportunity arose to show, then that would be considered.


Well there is a modest event that i have something to do with that would present the opportunity. :D

Denis Perkins wrote:if there's anyone near to me needing a project to get involved with,


This is a good way for others to get involved and may apply to other people in other parts of the country. Some members, for all sorts of good reasons, may not be able to contemplate building a layout of their own so working with someone else is a good way of getting involved with a layout.

Terry Bendall

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Denis Perkins
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Re: Honiton

Postby Denis Perkins » Thu Jan 16, 2014 2:25 pm

Hello John,

I see from your web site that you were a competetive cyclist for many years. What discipline?


I think there might be more than the odd one or two of us on here!

Gios - interesting. I think Roger de Vlaeminck was one of their first major wins, Milan-San Remo.

Anyway, road racing was my game or mass start as you league old boys would have it. Couldn't concentrate long enough for time trialling, and cross was a bit too muddy and bumpy for me. Never that successful, as no sprint and in our lower level domestic racing that's what you need, unless a super athlete and can ride away and I was never that. Nevertheless very happy as a team rider, if the team got the win and I got the odd placing then joy all round. Like you I did a bit of coaching later on and found that very rewarding.

At 65 I feel a junior compared to you and I'm still riding. Do a lot of sportives but not normally more than 75 miles - too painful to do more than 4 or 5 hours due arthritus in upper spine. Great memories from the racing days and as a tenuous claim to fame can say that I rode on occassion in the same races as Brad Wiggins when he was a junior. Obvious to see then what the future would hold for him.

Here's my current machinery:

IMG_0788.jpg


Wattbike in background. Torture instrument but keeps me going in the winter.

Hope the pic works - still on learning curve.

Denis.

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jayell
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Re: Honiton

Postby jayell » Thu Jan 16, 2014 7:22 pm

Denis Perkins wrote:I think there might be more than the odd one or two of us on here!

Gios - interesting. I think Roger de Vlaeminck was one of their first major wins, Milan-San Remo.


It was originally going to be a Specialized S-Works M4 hardtail but I waited months for a frame in my size to be imported and gave up in the end. Primera Sports in Bournemouth had always stocked the standard blue gios road frames and got a few of these aluminium tubed MTB frames in, so I grabbed the white one and built it up with all the components I had waiting for the M4, my previous race bike had been an early M2.

As there do seem to be a few cyclists among us I wonder how many rock climbers there are. A large chunk of the time between my early road racing days and my return to cycling had been taken up with rock climbing every weekend, having the cliffs at Swanage on my doorstep was a real bonus. I wasn't an extreme climber, HVS routes being my limit. I did a (very) little bit of snow & ice climbing on our annual visit to Scotland, little because it was rare to get good conditions but I would have liked to have done a lot more.

Apologies for having introduced another off-topic subject to this thread. I guess Honiton is the link as I'd have driven trhough Honiton every time we went to Cornwall on climbing trips. Nowadays people bomb past Honiton on the Exeter bypass ;)

John

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Denis Perkins
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Re: Honiton

Postby Denis Perkins » Thu Jan 16, 2014 9:18 pm

Hi Paul,

You could make contact with the Norfolk and Suffolk Area Group


Something I thought I should do for a long time but being a bit of a loner and not a great 'joiner in', the thought never developed further. At least coming on to the forum is a good first step and I reckon I'll make contact in due course.

Web details will be passed on as suggested.

Denis.

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Denis Perkins
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Re: Honiton

Postby Denis Perkins » Thu Jan 30, 2014 8:40 pm

Suitably enthused following the layout's introduction to the forum, a few more tasks were lined up.

First we have another Maunsell set. This time a 5 coach set, the coaches picked up from various sources and consequently in a variety of liveries, so have stripped and repainted. Had to have something green alongside all that crimson and cream of the period but the setting is a month or two too early for the BR version. Nevertheless, my take on things will no doubt allow some BR green to creep in eventually, but for now, it's malachite. Not likely that the set being portrayed was one of those never to receive blood and custard but go straight to BR green but as I say, must have some green. Won’t fret too much about fidelity though - as much as I have enjoyed the research on this project, I feel I've done enough for now and just want to get hands on for a sustained period. As soon as this set is on the rails, there's any number of Comet Bulleids to complete, not to mention a box full of Bachmann Mk1s. It's frightening how much stuff I've started over the years and not completed. Now's the time.

H0.jpg
Next job on these are the MJT gangways in the foreground
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The repaint and renumbering has gone reasonably well although must try harder with the application of transfers. Nevertheless, there’s still a lot of window cleaning to do (bits of maskol still to be picked out of corners amongst other things). Has anyone managed to remove the glazing from these Hornby coaches? I couldn’t for fear of causing damage.


The 700 is back on the bench to finish off. There's a very big space under the boiler; needs some thought this!

H2.jpg
Yes, those couplig rods need thinning down a bit!
H2.jpg (28.24 KiB) Viewed 4305 times


First of the poor runners to be dealt with is this PDK S15, which is one of my chassis rebuild jobs or if I’m lucky a tweak. Having now started on this it already looks beyond tweak!

H3.jpg
First investigation seems to indicate quartering error due slippage. Will be pinned on reassembly.
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Have also now moved onto the second scenic baseboard, laying down scenic substrate, track fettling, ballasting etc. Using hard shell method for landscape base which thus far has been a very satisfying, speedy and lightweight way of creating the contours, whilst remaining more than adequately robust. I have some "Sculptamould" to try for coating the surface where this needs doing. Anyone used this?

Couple of pics from the first baseboard showing first the thin card strips laid over mounting board strips (over carved foam insulation board formers). Next, kitchen paper towels laid over the card strips and soaked in dilute PVA.

H1.jpg
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H4.jpg
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As my railway room/gym is quite large and needs a lot of heating I normally heat it for a few hours, 3 days a week, when I use it for gym purposes and take advantage of those days to play with the baseboards. So I can still do things at other times I've erected a simple partition of foam insulation boards to section off the workbench area. Works well with a small fan heater which hardly comes on when up to temperature. Rough and ready but does the job. It's easily demountable and was to be just for the winter months but I think I'll make it permanent and case it with ply or hardboard. It's like working in a corridor, very cosy.

H5.jpg
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I am very lucky in that I was able to run my business from home in this company funded insulated brick outbuilding but my motive at the time was always to ensure that on retirement it would convert to its current use. Very fortunate indeed.

Will try to do a monthly update but off on an extended holiday in a couple of days so won’t get back to the workbench untl March :( Still, must keep the boss happy!

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Denis Perkins
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Re: Honiton

Postby Denis Perkins » Fri Jan 31, 2014 6:52 pm

From my previous post:
Nevertheless, there’s still a lot of window cleaning to do (bits of maskol still to be picked out of corners amongst other things)

Don't know if this is going to count as a Eureka moment but haven't been able to find a reference anywhere. Looking at the window cleaning comment did it. I remembered using the pink emulsion version of "Windolene" years ago - wipe it on, let it dry then wipe it off. Thinking that this could be a clean way of masking I gave it a go on glass. A thin coat of Windolene was applied by brush, left to dry thoroughly, followed by a couple of coats of paint through the airbrush. Once dry, a scrape with a thin piece of styrene sheet was used to start removal of the paint/windolene followed by a dry cotton bud. The result was complete removal of the paint/Windolene and very clean glass!

So, would it work on plastic glazing . . . .No! The Windolene would not bond sufficiently to provide even coverage. After trying various options I eventually coated the glazing with Kleer (would think current version probably OK) and the Windolene adhered to this beautifully. A few more coats of paint were again applied and although just a little more difficult to polish off the same removal procedure left a remarkably clean surface.

To me this process, although needing two coats, Kleer then Windolene, really appears in the long run to be a whole lot quicker and easier than using the Maskol type masking agents, certainly a lot easier to clean up and no brush clogging. Will give it a proper trial on return from holiday to see if worth trying for real.

Having at this stage no idea of the composition of Windolene there could be unforseen effects on existing paint surfaces etc. We'll find out in due course.

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Denis Perkins
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Re: Honiton

Postby Denis Perkins » Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:16 pm

About time for an update.

Been reasonably busy; second baseboard ballasted, now slowly tidying up:

IMG_0878.jpg
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Some tidying done; perhaps a bit more effort required:

IMG_0947.jpg


Couldn’t resist assembling these recently acquired buffer stops from Lanarkshire Models. Splendid items. As can be seen, neither could I resist having a go with the static grass applicator. Had done no more than a trial with this to date so thought I better stop what I was doing until I had a bit more practice off layout. With this in mind Gordon Gravett’s recent book on the subject was ordered. This has now arrived and hopefully further progress will shortly follow:

IMG_0925.jpg
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Disaster! . . .. There is a loft hatch above this baseboard and entirely due to my own carelessness something fell from the loft onto the baseboard. I had no idea what it was or exactly where it fell - it must have bounced off into the distance - I only heard the bang. After an initial inspection I thought I had got away with it. Of course not! Whilst ballasting, a bent stock rail was found – can’t believe I hadn’t noticed this previously. The dent is between the two feeds so a crude attempt at bending back was not an option, no doubt for the best. So it’s a cut out and replace job. Needless to say some sort of preventative measure will be devised for the hatch before it is next opened.

Here’s the damage. The closure rail is also very slightly deformed. It remains in gauge and stock runs through OK. Nevertheless, will probably replace at the same time:

IMG_0921.jpg
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These Ratio Van Bs have also been started and strangely for me very nearly completed! A little more painting, weathering, screw couplings (have settled on Mike Clark’s version) and vac pipes. For the last mentioned I intend to attempt the magnetic connection arrangement (Jim Smith-Wright (MRJ 164) and as mentioned in Lord Colnago’s current thread http://www.scalefour.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=104&t=3654 Hope to have these finished next week.

IMG_0908.jpg
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Where’s this going?

IMG_0937.jpg
IMG_0937.jpg (19.56 KiB) Viewed 4016 times


Through the wall, where else? Very soon, holes will have to be punched through the wall to enable this thing to work in roundy-roundy mode. The outdoor running aspect should be interesting.

Next up is to prepare a shopping list and order train tickets for Scalefour North on Saturday. Sadly, only able to be there for a short while from the off. Nevertheless, time enough for a good dose of inspiration.

Brinkly
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Re: Honiton

Postby Brinkly » Wed Apr 09, 2014 8:56 pm

Lovely work so far Denis, I really though 'wow'. Look forward to seeing Honiton progress.

Kind regards,

Nick.

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Denis Perkins
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Re: Honiton

Postby Denis Perkins » Thu Apr 10, 2014 10:29 pm

Thanks for you kind comments Nick.

Photographs can sometimes do the subject more justice than it perhaps deserves. Nonetheless I am very happy with what I have managed so far as it's beyond what I thought I could achieve. Most important of all it's a hugely enjoyable undertaking (even replacing those damaged rails!).

Denis

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Denis Perkins
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Re: Honiton

Postby Denis Perkins » Fri Aug 22, 2014 7:32 pm

So much for regular updates!

A Spring and Summer full of diverse distractions that curtailed modelling activities in favour of happy families along with the usual full program of bike events. The latter ended in disaster with a broken collar bone, so another few weeks lost. This week's holiday in the Alps has been spent looking at the mountain passes I was supposed to be pedalling up - I did do a speed walk up the col de joux plane though - couldn't walk the day after!

Nevertheless some things have been achieved. In particular, the S15 underwent a chassis rebuild as hoped and I now have 2 locomotives which run as near to smoothly as I could ever have hoped (compared to my earlier efforts). The rebuild included split chassis, 1/16" homemade crankpins along the lines described by Chris Pendleton (MRJ 219/221) and also coupling rods prefabricated from nickel silver bar and rod, as a diversion from the usual etched rods. This is OK for parallel rods but anything else would be another matter.

C_rods1.jpg
A couple of rods soldered up prior to cleaning up and thinning down. The jig is simply 1/16" steel rod chemically blackened and inserted into tufnol with the aid of a mill/drill to ensure square. This is a trial effort - will attempt to mill the bar to correct section next time rather than file after soldering which is a bit of a pain! And yes, oil boxes to be added - I have a plan!
C_rods1.jpg (31.1 KiB) Viewed 3567 times


C_rods2.jpg
The slot on the leading boss was cut with a fine piercing saw blade and the trailing rod simply filed down to a slither, to fit. Although appearing somewhat fragile, thus far has seemed quite robust. Time will tell.
C_rods2.jpg (22.35 KiB) Viewed 3567 times


More of this maybe when I get round to rebuilding the next of my stock of disappointing chassis.

Now I at last seem to be able to put a chassis together to a decent enough standard and be seemingly able to repeat the task, I feel happier about my plan to spend the winter trying to complete all the remaining baseboards and track, along with a good stab at the scenics. With luck I might perhaps be able to report on this with a degree more regularity.

Thanks for looking in.


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