'The West "by Gawd" Virginian' Skin BETA- Try it!

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'The West "by Gawd" Virginian' Skin BETA- Try it!

Postby Kraken » Tue Oct 11, 2005 1:48 am

Hi all,

Before the board went down, you might have seen my work-in-progress screenshots of my first historical skin of Punchy Powell's P-51B, 'The West "by Gawd" Virginian' . If you didn't, here they are again:

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

Now, I've I think I'm pretty much finished- at least with what I can do with it using the tools I have. I've packaged the TGAs up in a zip file and it's ready for you to take it for a spin!

Whoever has a working copy of Warbirds, I'd really appreciate it if you would download it, check it out in-game, and give me some quick feedback if you have a free moment. Basically, I want you to be my beta testers!

Eventually, I plan to put the files up on the TotalSims and AGW forums to promote the 352nd FG and so others can fly another bluenoser. As far as I know, there are no other complete, player-made P-51B skins out there (there are tons of D model versions), so this would be a first for the WB community, the 352nd, and yours truly.

There's a ReadMe.txt file I typed up in the zip file that explains installation (if you're unfamiliar with offline plane skins), gives a breif history, and I put in some of my own humble comments. If you have the time, pretend you're an average Joe WB player and are downloading a custom skin for the first time. Are my instructions in the ReadMe are good or confusing? As a 352nd member, check my historical facts- should I put any more or less info in there?

I've also included some pics of Punchy with his P-51 in the zip file.

I must explain that my skin lacks a few finer details that you may have seen elsewhere, but since the Warbirds P-51B 3d model is so second-rate (see the ReadMe), I couldn't justify spending the extra time on the thousands of rivets and other subtle parts.

Follow this link to the 1.3Mb compressed file download:
http://www.352ndfightergroup.com/virtua ... Punchy.zip

What do you think? Comments? Concerns? Criticism (be as harsh as you want- I can take it!)? :)
Last edited by Kraken on Wed Mar 22, 2006 5:07 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Audie » Tue Oct 11, 2005 2:42 am

Looks *very* nice. Will be trying it soon!
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can this be done for older games off line

Postby embee » Tue Oct 11, 2005 4:00 am

Hi ALL

Kraken this looks real good i bet all the boys will want to have a go, which brings me to a question....

i play the old MS combat sim on my computer is there a way i can inport a 352nd skin onto my mustang

be happy to know if there is....

cheers dude
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Postby Todzilla » Tue Oct 11, 2005 9:42 am

embee,
There would be no way to iport this skin into MS Flight Sim. However, I have found many Bluenoser skins for MSFS in the past. Try Google to look for some and if I find any on my hard drive I'll post it here or mail it to you.
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cheers todd

Postby embee » Tue Oct 11, 2005 12:25 pm

nice one todd , would be nice to fly looking right,

got a few thing going on at the mo will tell all when the times right...

martin :D
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Postby Kraken » Thu Oct 13, 2005 8:52 pm

Any takers? :)

How does it look?
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Postby Kraken » Fri Oct 21, 2005 3:43 am

Well, it's been about a week.

Anybody give the skin a shot?

What do you think- is it ready for everybody else to try?
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Postby Kraken » Tue Nov 08, 2005 8:09 pm

PUNT :)

Anybody try this skin out?

How does it look to you?

If you have questions about installation, refer to my easy-to-follow 27 step guide on downloading/installing/using offline skins:

http://352ndfightergroup.com/virtual/pi ... ml#offline


Here's the download link in case your scroll-up button doesn't work :D :

http://www.352ndfightergroup.com/virtua ... Punchy.zip

Be sure to read the "readme.txt" file in the compressed file package.


I'm looking forward to feedback if you have any!
Last edited by Kraken on Wed Mar 22, 2006 5:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Parson » Tue Mar 21, 2006 10:12 pm

I LOVE IT!

What needs to happen to have this skin available online?
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Postby Todzilla » Wed Mar 22, 2006 12:03 am

Nice work! If you don't mind I would like to see about getting this approved for online use.
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Postby Kraken » Wed Mar 22, 2006 5:39 am

Hey guys,

Thanks for the bump and for the compliments on (unfortunately) the most I've been able to contribute to the squad since I've been a member.

I actually just added a few minor changes to the skin and threw a custom gun sight for the P-51b into the zip file today. Also, I transferred the zip file over to my space on the 352nd website instead of linking to my no-longer-paying-for-it-but-somehow-still-able-to-use-it prodigy space.
(be aware that the pictures in the original post above now do not exactly match the updated skin you'd be downloading)


As far as getting this skin approved for online use, I really don't know how the PDC does things.

I do know the following:

TARGET has said he will update the P-51b 3d model at some point (probably not anytime soon) which will hopefully solve a lot of the problems I had skinning it.

A lot of the art I see on the PDC page is much better than mine, so my work will probably need some improvement before it's acceptable.

I, personally, would feel a lot better submitting the skin for approval after you guys in the squad have had a good look at it and were able to point out anything I might've overlooked. Just as I was in Oct., I'm open to any sort of criticism you have. :)
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Postby wily » Wed Mar 22, 2006 6:48 am

Great work!!

<S>
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Postby Dduck » Wed Mar 22, 2006 9:27 pm

That looks awesome! Great job on the plane of one of our favorite pilots!
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Postby Parson » Thu Mar 23, 2006 12:52 pm

Not to nitpick, but I think the "PE" and "P" were outlined in white, and the yellow inside the map was not as vibrant -- more of a straw/pale yellow color.

But, I wasn't there.

:wink:
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Postby Kraken » Fri Mar 24, 2006 3:14 am

Awesome, Parson- that's exactly the kind of info I'm looking for from you and the others.

First, thank you for taking the time to look over it, and I'm glad you picked on two relatively easy things to fix. :)

About the "PE" and "P" outline, I actually followed what my aircraft profile (by Tom Tullis) showed, but now after reviewing an actual photo of the tail section, the outline around the "P" is clearly visible. So I guess in this case, Mr. Tullis was wrong, but I can see how it could be easily overlooked.

How thick should it be? (pick 1, 2, or 3):

1 (current):Image 2:Image 3:Image

I've also seen the map a few different ways: white with red outline, yellow with red outline, and yellow with blue outline. I'm leaning toward the last one since the profile claims the map colors represented WVU's school colors. That's why my first yellow was what it was- I copied it straight from the WVU web page.

That doesn't mean it's accurate though, and I'd like to see what you think about these.

Which map color is best:
1:Image2:Image3:Image4:Image5 (current):Image

Plus, what about the blue from the nose? I think it might be too dark, but I'm not sure what's right or wrong.

Maybe it would be most efficient to ask Punchy himself since I've read that he has the actual piece of his plane with the nose art, but then again I'd prefer not to bother him about it again when I know others have already asked...
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Postby Dduck » Sat Mar 25, 2006 7:47 am

Wow. I'm going to have to fix a few things on the race car this spring. I don't have a white outline around the letters, and I know the map is the wrong color.

I thought the map was yellow with an orange outline? This info is based on Wiley's drawing (signed by the famous Wiley, and not so famous Punchy) that resides over my computer, and a model airplane decal sheet which my car's graphics were based on.

To answer your questions, I like the second version of the white border, and the third version of the map. I believe the blue is a little dark. Just my opinion.
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Postby Parson » Fri Mar 31, 2006 3:08 pm

I emailed Punchy with our questions. Here's his reply, with my comments in brackets "[]":

Please advise him that the color of the state (WVa) was a canary yellow outlined in red more like the "C" [or "3" in the post above] illustration you sent. The 'P' on the tail was outlined in white like the illustration "C" [or "3" in the post above] in your message. In the noseart lettering, the "The" and "West" and "Virginian" were all outlined in red. However, the "by Gawd" was not outlined but did have quotation marks around it. It was plain white, however, no red border.

Hope you can convey this to him. What is his name and e/addr? I have most of the VPs [Virtual Pilots] on my Addr Book but not sure who he is.

Of he needs it I can send him a photo of the panel on my wall.

Tell him I will include a small item about his using my plane in the next BN (April issue) if he will send me the details.


My response:

I know the Virtual Pilot as "Kraken" -- He works at the Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio. His email address is hall.68@wright.edu, and I've "cc'd" him on these emails.

A photo of the panel would be WONDERFUL! Please, if you can, attach one to an email to me!

THANKS again!


Godspeed!

-Ken
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Postby Kraken » Wed Apr 05, 2006 12:53 am

UPDATE!

Thanks to the helpful questions from Parson answered by Punchy himself, I've been able to make the appropriate changes to the skin and add even more detail that it was formerly lacking.

I just e-mailed Samart of the PDC to see about getting this into VFC format, and am currently awaiting a reply.

EDIT: Newest screenshots:

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

The blue in the nose does look a bit dark in these pictures, but it's from converting the screenshots into .jpg files. The actual color in the game is a shade or two lighter and I think it's more accurate.

Download the updated skin through the link below. It's riveting! :)

http://www.352ndfightergroup.com/virtua ... Punchy.zip
Last edited by Kraken on Wed Apr 05, 2006 11:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Parson » Wed Apr 05, 2006 7:51 am

Looking good!

Note that Punchy described the map as "outlined in red." I see the map on the skin is still in blue.

Here's a link to a Troy White painting that might shed some light:
Punchy and Jack
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Postby Kraken » Wed Apr 05, 2006 3:07 pm

Parson wrote:Note that Punchy described the map as "outlined in red." I see the map on the skin is still in blue.


Whoops! Thanks for pointing that out.

I've made the change and just updated the zip file.

Later tonight I'll put up some more screenshots with the correction.

EDIT: see my previous post above for the newest screenshots.
Last edited by Kraken on Thu Apr 06, 2006 1:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Parson » Thu Apr 06, 2006 8:41 am

EXCELLENT work!

THANK YOU!
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Postby Todzilla » Thu Apr 13, 2006 1:33 am

And here is the real thing:

Image

Unfortunately, the rest of the noseart was destroyed by fire when Punchy bellied it in after an emergency landing. After the fire, Punchy's crew chief cut out the above section and gave it to him.

As it was against regs to keep it, it "accidentally" found its way back home in the bottom of Punchy's footlocker. This is the only piece of a 352nd airplane that is still in existence in its original paint.
Last edited by Todzilla on Thu Apr 13, 2006 11:58 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Kraken » Thu Apr 13, 2006 8:06 am

WOW! :shock: :o :!:

That is totally awesome!

I think I'll be adjusting my blue just a bit...

Thanks so much!
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Postby Kraken » Wed Apr 26, 2006 1:48 am

Small Update!

I adjusted the blue on the nose to more accurately reflect the original panel color, and made some other minor changes to the rudder and other areas.

Image

Image

The zip file is now up-to-date with the latest changes. Click the link below to download th offline skin:

http://www.352ndfightergroup.com/virtua ... Punchy.zip


No difinitive word from the PDC yet, but the lines of communication are now a bit broader, thanks to Todzilla. :)
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Postby Dduck » Wed Apr 26, 2006 5:16 am

That is so awesome! One of these days, I'll have to learn how to fly sims so I can see your artwork fly!
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Postby Parson » Wed Apr 26, 2006 9:23 am

Kraken, yo da MAN!
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Postby Kraken » Fri May 05, 2006 4:30 am

Update:

I'm now (finally) exchanging e-mails with Kossu- from the PDC about fixes/adjustments to the skin. He said it looked great and that it "should pass with flying colors (pun intended ;) )"

I'll let you guys know what happens and will be posting more screenshots of the improvements! :D
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Postby Todzilla » Fri May 05, 2006 11:57 am

Nice work Kraken, thank you!
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Postby Todzilla » Fri May 05, 2006 4:49 pm

Dduck wrote:That is so awesome! One of these days, I'll have to learn how to fly sims so I can see your artwork fly!


Promises, promises...
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Postby Todzilla » Fri May 05, 2006 5:00 pm

http://www.352ndfightergroup.com/assoc/gallery.html

Scroll down and click on "Punchy Powell's West "by Gawd" Virginian".
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Postby Dune » Sat May 06, 2006 9:29 pm

Beautiful bird Kraken!
Now I'm hiding in Honduras
I'm a desperate man
Send lawyers, guns and money
The **** has hit the fan.

- Warren Zevon
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Postby Kraken » Mon May 08, 2006 5:21 pm

Yesterday, Kossu informed me that the PDC is now voting on the skin.

If those guys have any taste at all, Punchy's paint scheme is sure to pass! :D
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Postby Parson » Tue Feb 13, 2007 5:44 pm

Well, it's been over nine months.

Didn't the skin pass?
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Postby Kraken » Sun Jan 27, 2008 4:09 pm

OK, here's what happened: The PDC approved the skin, contingent on my correction of a
few small things. Not a problem, really, I was able to correct them quite easily... when
I had the free time! I thought that after graduating from college I'd have more time to
do fun things like this, but that turned out to be a fallacy.

Fortunately, I've had some free time in the last couple weeks to finish up the skin.

Here are my latest shots:
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

I added a little wingtip vapor trail and exhaust smoke to this one:
Image

After I took all those screenshots I realized I left out one little detail: the stenciled
lettering under the canopy that has the serial number, and other fuel info.
This is actually what it looks like now:
Image

This week, I'll be presenting the skin to the PDC once more and
hopefully this time a shiny new VFC (online skin) will result.

Give it a try:
http://www.352ndfightergroup.com/virtua ... Punchy.zip
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Postby Todzilla » Sun Jan 27, 2008 4:31 pm

Very nice work! I'm hoping that with the next update (in two weeks) that we will be able to use that as our own personal skin for online use. Thank your Kraken, very nice indeed!
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Postby Kraken » Fri Feb 01, 2008 11:55 am

Thank you, Todd, I would be flattered if my skin was the "chosen one." :D

I've just changed a couple things and updated the zip file with the most current artwork.

The wheels are now more accurate (I used an actual photo of a p-51 wheel) and don't look
so wobbly when they spin. Unfortunately, the landing gear struts' artwork comes from the
same place as the wheels, so they're unavoidably messed-up, but not any more so than before.

I also re-textured the rudder for a slightly more doped-fabric look.

http://www.352ndfightergroup.com/virtua ... Punchy.zip
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Postby Kraken » Mon Apr 07, 2008 10:48 pm

Well, I went a little overboard getting the skin ready for the PDC and
ended up making some major changes...

First of all, I was curious to see what would happen if I doubled the
resolution. So, I blew it up to 2048x2048 and tried it in the game. It
seemed to work just fine, and it was then that I realized that I could
sharpen-up the artwork since I suddenly had four times the area to
work with.

Unfortunately, as anyone who has worked with photography or computer
graphics knows, it's easy to go from high to low resolution, but it's nearly
impossible to go the other way. It's best just to start over in the higher
resolution. That's basically what I did.

Old nose art (1024 resolution) on the left and new nose art (2048 resolution) on the right:
Image Image

Notice the screw heads? I drew those in, one by one, along with most
every part of the new artwork. While I was at it, I fixed and added some
things that had been incorrect in my previous versions.

The result is a cleaner, finer-detailed skin that I think is now more worthy
of its blue paint.

Image
Image
Image
Image

These screenshots don't really do it justice; you have to try it in-game to
really see it sparkle.
More high-resolution screenshots, click here.

Give it a try and let me know what you think:
http://352ndfightergroup.com/virtual/pi ... Punchy.zip
Unzipped, the skin uses about 32Mb of hard drive space.

Lastly, thank you all for your patience. It's been a long time coming.
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Postby Tyson » Tue Apr 08, 2008 7:37 am

This is Kewl Kraken!!!

There is only one skin available for the P-51B. when this goes through there will now be one to download. If or when we get squad skins to view in the arenas I think we are going to see a lot of squads "borrowing" the bluenose version...especially in something like the rps pf the ww2 arena.

And how cool are us virtuals going to look in particular S3's with the 51B...

Once we do get our viewable skins I think Kraken should come fly with us and... shall we say do a Maiden flight in the new skin. what do ya say Kraken?

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Postby dewolf » Tue Apr 08, 2008 8:14 am

Very nice!
Happy trails..................
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Postby Kraken » Tue Apr 08, 2008 1:02 pm

Thanks guys!

Tyson wrote:Once we do get our viewable skins I think Kraken should
come fly with us and... shall we say do a Maiden flight in the new skin. what
do ya say Kraken?


That would be a blast! I haven't been able to fly online for a while, though,
I'm in desperate need of a computer upgrade. :(

My HD is full, my processor is slow, and my internet is flaky... all of which
cause Warbirds and my computer to crash the second I try to log on.

I'll get a new system someday, but there are some other things that take
priority in RL...
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Postby Todzilla » Wed Apr 09, 2008 1:41 am

Beautiful work Kraken! What is next for the PDC? Would love to get this approved by the PDC and have it as out online skin.
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Postby Kraken » Wed Apr 09, 2008 10:03 am

Todzilla wrote:Beautiful work Kraken! What is next for the PDC?


I Emailed Kossu and iArt7 about it, and I'm guessing the PDC's final review is the next step.

Kossu is apparently traveling right now, so it could be a while before we see much progress.
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Postby Kraken » Wed Apr 09, 2008 8:02 pm

Something tells me you'll be seeing more of this very soon:

Image

:mrgreen:
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Postby Tyson » Thu Apr 10, 2008 7:22 am

Yes And...?

Please tell me this is close to going through.

Ya know had another thought Kraken... while you take the lead some night in formation on that Maiden flight...we could snap a couple of screenies and send them off to Mr. Powell. I'll bet he'd like that. :wink:

Keep us posted, will be watching the PDC web page as well

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Postby Parson » Thu Apr 10, 2008 3:10 pm

Awesome, incredible work, Kraken!

Hey, I noticed one of the landing gear covers had the white and black stripes reversed. Was that intentional?
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Postby Kraken » Thu Apr 10, 2008 6:26 pm

Yes, And... You'll find out soon enough. ;)

Tyson wrote:while you take the lead some night in formation on that
Maiden flight...we could snap a couple of screenies and send them off to
Mr. Powell. I'll bet he'd like that. :wink:


Actually, Todzilla Emailed Punchy last night, and it's probable he's already
seen the screenshot page I put together. It would be a spectacular shot
if we got a whole squadron of blue nosed P-51Bs in formation, though
(with human, not AI, pilots)!

Parson wrote:Awesome, incredible work, Kraken!
Hey, I noticed one of the landing gear covers had the white and black
stripes reversed. Was that intentional?


Thanks, Parson!

This is a flaw in the skin's mapping- it's impossible to fix one landing gear
cover without messing up the other one. :( The alternative would be to
have them both of them mostly bare metal, but I think the current way
draws slightly less attention.

I was able to work around most of the other mapping problems, put this
one persisted along with the nose art cloning. I've learned to live with it...
this model is almost 8 years old now and due for a remodel- in two weeks :lol:
[b]Kraken[/b]
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Postby Kraken » Wed Apr 23, 2008 6:44 pm

Kraken wrote:I was able to work around most of the other mapping
problems, put this one persisted along with the nose art cloning.
I've learned to live with it...


Good news! I was able to work around the nose art cloning problem and
clean off the starboard side of the nose.

I'm kicking myself for not thinking of it earlier, but a simple move of the
WV map got it away from the problem area and allowed me to erase the
inaccurate backwards map on the other side.

Check it out:
Image

And the port side is just very slightly different:
Image

I really had two options:
1. A totally inaccurate, backwards WV map on the wrong side and an
accurately positioned map on the correct side.

2. A very slightly-misplaced WV map on the correct side and an accurate,
clean other side.

I went with the second option after seeing some kind words written by
someone who knew this aircraft best... Punchy himself!

<S>
[b]Kraken[/b]
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Postby Parson » Thu Apr 24, 2008 10:40 am

Wow! REALLY good work!
The Parson
http://www.352ndfightergroup.com/virtual/pilots/parson/index.html
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Postby Todzilla » Thu Apr 24, 2008 7:52 pm

Awesome work Ken, thank you! And let us know when it gets approval for the game...
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Postby Kraken » Sat Apr 26, 2008 8:47 pm

[b]Kraken[/b]
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