Any colour you like as long as its SR Goods Wagon Brown, the hues and lows of colour perception

Colour perception, especially with models, is an often debated topic especially when manufacturers occasionally, and some more than others, appear to get it wrong. There can be several reasons why colours on models do not always appear correct. In this post I look at some of the issues and reasons that can influence getting colours correct. I have been constructively critical in the past of some manufacturers attempts at getting colours / liveries correct and often try to get colours and liveries corrected, if possible, and have done so again only recently with some proposed SR locomotives (naming no names but fingers crossed they arrive OK).

Diagram 1530 Bullied Cattle truck in a close SR Goods brown livery
The ‘low’ a way too light milk Chocolate Hornby  Warner’s 20t Brake Van
Getting very much closer, Hornby’s subsequent Warner’s brake van release
A Bachmann SR Diagram 1579 brake van is a reasonable, perhaps slightly dark, rendition of the brown (although the sole bars should also be brown not black)

I will use LSWR/SR Goods Wagon Brown as a case in point; for example, Hornby have had multiple attempts to achieve the correct SR colour. Back in 2016 their excellent SR Diagram 1530, as per my review here, was released in a good, if not very slightly too dark, representation of the SR Goods Wagon Brown but by 2020 the colour on their ex LSWR Warner 20T SR diagram 1543 brake vans, as I highlighted here, was the wrong shade of chocolate. Perhaps the fact that the official name of the correct dark brown colour is “Chocolate Brown” they chose milk chocolate instead? Hornby have subsequent released further versions of this model in a darker version but is still slightly too light and lighter than the colour they used on the cattle truck!

In my day job I therefore, for my own satisfaction / reputation, had to ensure that the LSWR/SR Goods Wagon Brown on the Kernow Model Rail Centre ex LSWR Diagram 1541 Road Van that I was responsible for producing was as close to the correct colour as possible. I undertook a lot of research to be able to provide the factory with the correct paint references, although this is not as simple as it sounds as I will discuss below.

The KMRC Diagram 1541 Road Van in what I believe to be a good representation of LSWR/SR Goods Wagon Brown

Following much historical research and checking many contemporary references I was able to provide the factory with a suitable British Standard paint colour reference, however even this is complicated by the fact that such a historical British Standard reference is now obsolete so not readily available for the factory to obtain! Careful checking and agreeing decorated samples ensured that I was happy with the factory’s interpretation of the colour to allow production to commence.

I am also only too happy to share my researched colour references with some other manufacturers, to try to achieve some consistency of colours for all Southern Railway modellers alike, including for example my good friends at Rapido Trains UK, and they specified with their factory my SR Goods Wagon Brown colour reference for their splendid ex SECR /SR open wagons.

The effect of the matt finish on the 5 plank open compared to the satin factory finished 7 plank open can be seen under the same lighting conditions
Another view showing the effect of the matt finish compared to satin

I did however note in my review here, that their factory interpretation of the colour appeared lighter. I also thought at the time of writing that the finish of the model may have also affected the perception of the colour as it was a satin nearly glossy finish rather than matt.
To demonstrate this, I have now given one of the Rapido Trains UK wagons a simple single spray coat of Testers Dullcoat matt varnish and when pictured alongside the KMRC Road Van and one of the original Rapido Trains UK factory finished wagons the effect of the type finish and its perception of the same base colour can be clearly seen.
I will now apply the same treatment too all my Rapido Trains UK wagons from this batch (and I have also shared the results of this simple change of finish with Rapido Trains UK ).

It should be noted that I have purposely taken the comparison picture under the same lighting conditions. Different forms and types of lighting either when viewing the prototype, for example bright sunshine or a cloudy day, or models for example under warm or cool white lighting (see my post here about white is white…) can totally change the visual perception of a colour. I am also of course aware that you will be viewing this post on different devices and screens that will also create different perceptions of the colour!

In addition to historical superseded / obsolete colour references and paint finishes there are several other factors that need to be considered when specifying and choosing the correct colour.

Firstly, care should be taken when using old colour photographs, or for that matter preserved rolling stock, as there are so many variables that can affect the representation / comparison of any colour. As well as the lighting conditions at the time the image taken the use of different film stocks at the time and variations in any subsequent printing can give different colour hues. Something published as fact, even repeatedly or copied is not necessarily always factually correct and can still include errors or subjectivity.

Another factor to take into account especially with models is that of colour scaling; our perception of colour does not scale and will vary depending on the distance at which it is being viewed and also the size and the area of the colour, for example if you painted a model with exactly the same paint as a full-size example the model will appear darker when look at in isolation. This is therefore also an issue when using a small swatch of colour as an original reference, and this has been the case, in my opinion, with a small number of colours as referenced in otherwise excellent and well respected livery reference books.
Sometimes a model manufacturer will sometimes need to counter this by using a colour slightly lighter on the model than the full-size prototype so it ‘looks right’ to the eye.

Go on try it… you know you want to…
The same loco and same lighting conditions showing the colour perception change due to the lining (and also the black flat top)

It should also be noted that adjacent different colours to our chosen colour will affect the perception the hue, see the example shown left.

This is often highlighted when initially painting a model for example compare a lined and unlined model that uses the same base colour.
For example, a splendid malachite green Bulleid pacific will look to be a darker green until the three horizontal lines are added as can be seen in the image to the left of my 21c11 before and after lining has been applied and photographed under the same lighting conditions.

Finally, one further complication for model manufactures is the process used to recreate the often-complex liveries on a model. This is often achieved by a mixture of both paint and print applications, whereas the prototype is more often than not painted (although some modern liveries are via printed vinyls) . Different specifications are used for paint and print colours. For example, paint colours are usually specified to British Standard (both current and obsolete) or RAL numbers; whilst printing inks are usually referenced Pantone colours. There are often no direct conversions between some paint and print colours and errors can creep into the process when conversions take place. For example, sometimes a paint reference could give multiple close Pantone references, and it can even be the case that when some are converted back, they end up as a different RAL number!
It is therefore imperative that such conversions between paint and print references during the process are checked and agreed at every stage. It is the reason that creating an approved set of livery artworks must then be checked and further approved at the decorated sample stage (actual physical sample not photographs from the factory!) before production. Skipping some of these steps in the process, usually for apparent cost reasons, can easily result in mistakes, such as has occurred with the production of some models in the past and therefore be a false economy.

I hope this little walk through the hues and lows of the processes involved in getting the colour / more importantly, the perception of colours as correct as possible has been of interest, perhaps the first of an occasional “Insider insights” series? As always, I welcome and enjoy reading and responding to comments.

 

New LSWR 3D printed station seats and hand barrows available from Mudmagnet models

A new range of LSWR 3D printed station seats and hand barrows in 4mm scale are now available from my friend and excellent modeller Richard Slate via his Mudmagnet Models.

You may have seen some of Richard’s lovely layouts, on the exhibition circuit before, with their high level of attention to detail such as “Orchard Road” and “Oakley Green Oil Depot and Locomotive Depot”. 

Richard has recently added to his growing range of 4mm  and 7mm  3D resin printed items, that already feature some wonderful workshop related equipment, a number of lovely LSWR/SR related items:

  • LSWR Station Seat
  • LSWR Parcels Barrow
  • LSWR Luggage Barrow
  • LSWR Goods Hand Barrow
  • LSWR Long Bow Barrow

As can be seen from the pictures for such small items, especially when compared with the one penny coin, the level of detail is exquisite, even the wheels on the barrows rotate! All are supplied unpainted and ready to paint, with acrylics being recommended.

They are quite inexpensive and will help bring any LSWR /SR/BR(s) station or goods yard scene to life. They can be ordered from the Mudmagnet Models online shop here.

 

 

Hornby Maunsell Diagram 2652 3rd Class Dining Saloons arrive

Hornby announced as part of their new 2021 range they were to produce new tooling for the Maunsell Dining Saloons to Diagram 2652 as introduced in 1927. In my Talking Stock#39 post about the complexities of the Southern Catering vehicles I advised that in 1930 the six Diagram 2652 Saloons were reclassified as Open Thirds and renumbered 1363 to 1368.

A Diagram 2652 Dining Saloon Third (note it is lined in this image)
The Hornby Diagram 2652 3rd Class dining saloon
Another view of the 3rd Class dining slaoon
The usual high standard Hornby underframe
The end on view showing the fine steps below the sprung buffers, end steps and the handrail
A side on view of the Hornby Diagram 2652 3rd Class dining saloon

Hornby subsequently amended their plans and advised that R40030 Number 7864 and R40030A Number 7867 in SR lined olive green to be Open Thirds would now be produced numbered 1363 and 1366 respectively. This gives those modelling the Southern Railway in the 1930s greater flexibility in their accurate use.

During the WWI all except No. 1367 were converted for Ambulance Train use.  Four of the six, were converted in July 1947 to Third / Composite Dining Saloons branded as ‘Restaurant Car’ to Diagram 2658 and numbered 7841-4 . These conversions have also been announced by Hornby as R40031 Maunsell Dining Saloon Third / Composite to diagram 2658 Number S7841S and R40031A Number S7843S in BR(s) Green. The other two were now fitted with 48 loose  2 +1 chairs and classified as First Class diners and numbered 7846/7 were paired with newly converted Diagram 2661 Buffet cars for use on the reinstated ‘Night Ferry” service.

Whilst originally announced as being SR lined olive green, I am not sure that when they changed the running numbers Hornby actually indicated that these would now be unlined; although it does mean they match the already released kitchen dinning firsts as these have also so far been released in unlined SR olive green.

The model is of the same high standard of all their SR Maunsell coach releases with their excellent SR Standard 8ft bogies, good chassis detailing, sprung buffers, separately applied door grab handles , fine foot steps at each end and end handrails. Being unlined the decoration is plain and simple, but the lettering is neatly applied as we have come to expect from Hornby. The inside is nicely modelled and decorated with the internal wooden partitions, seats (blue) and table tops (white) all being correctly coloured.

The incorrect inset window bar and raised vertical lower panel beading affects the 3/4 side view

There are however two main areas that let this model down a little; firstly the horizontal bar that separates the main window from the upper vents should be flush with the bodyside and whilst Hornby have, perhaps understandably, modelled this bar as part of the glazing insert it inexplicably is too shallow and therefore not flush with the body side.
Secondly the lower panel vertical joints are modelled with a raised beading applied to them, whilst there is some evidence that some beading might have been to these vehicles later in their life, it certainly was not present during the period applicable to this livery. These two issues do detract slightly from the 3/4 side view of the model.

Supplied with the coach is an accessory bad that contains roof boards, Roco style coupling and for the first time with any SR Maunsell coach are a pair ‘Hunt’ style magnetic couplers that are a representation of the vacuum and steam heat pipes. Until these coupling are main available as separate parts just supplying a pair with an individual coach is not really practicable.

In service these 3rd Class dining saloons were actually paired with the first Maunsell Kitchen / Dining Firsts to Diagram 2651 that were also built in 1927 and numbered 7858-7863. Modellers licence will be required as this Diagram in original its 1927 form has not been produced by Hornby and therefore will have to be incorrectly paired with the Diagram 2656 Kitchen Dining First instead.

Going bananas with daffodils for Easter

The pair of SR Diagram 1478 banana vans being shunted along with the daffodils bring a splash of colour to Canute road Quay this Easter

The budding trees, the new flowers, and birds that sing, whisper to me that it’s Easter, and that the supermarkets are full of chocolate of all shapes (many irrelevant), sizes and special offers!

Here is wishing a warmth in the firebox of your soul on Easter & always!

Rapido Trains UK announce South Eastern & Chatham Railway Diagram 1558 six wheel brake van

Rapido trains UK  have announced today (15/04), following a bit of a hint in one of their videos and me here, that they are producing the South Eastern & Chatham Railway Diagram 1558 six wheel brake van.

CAD Render of the D1558 Van original version
A detailed interior is included
A fully detailed underframe with full brake gear
The D1558 rebuilt version

Forty 6 wheel 20t brake vans were built in 1898 by the South Eastern and Chatham Railway to Diagram 1558, were heavily influenced by Midland Railway practice, these had an open veranda platform (i.e. with no roof, sides or end rail) at one end and a closed one at the other. In 1910, 50 more were built with close verandas at each end, between 1914 and 1920 the original vans were modified with two closed verandas. These modified vans were identifiable as had double top rails at the rebuilt end only.  All 90 vans entered Southern Railway stock and most passed into British Railways ownership. There were also variations in some of the framing, planking and handrails between the two built versions.

Rapido trains UK  have tooled two bodies to cover both the dual veranda vans built new in 1910 as well as the single-ended vans re-built that year and have announced ten initial versions:

  • 931001: No. 2033, SECR grey with black underframe
  • 931002: No. 2036, SECR grey
  • 931003: No. 55382, SR brown with red ends (large lettering)
  • 931004: No. 55389, SR brown with red ends (large lettering)
  • 931005: No. 55384, SR brown with red ends (small lettering)
  • 931006: No. 55366, SR brown with red ends (small lettering)
  • 931007: No. S55429, SR brown with red ends (BR lettering)
  • 931008: No. S55434, BR grey
  • 931009: No. S55371, BR grey
  • 931010: No. 80383, Engineer’s black

The RRP will be £39.95 or discounted at official retailers such as Kernow Model Rail Centre here.  The expected availability is early 2023.

The SER single ended version being produced for Rails of Sheffield

Rails of Sheffield have commissioned the original pre 1910 single end vans  to be produced in SER red/brown with red ends (ran into SECR days) and SECR grey (two running numbers).

These vans are a logical choice by Rapido trains UK and compliment there already arrived SECR Diagram 1355 seven-plank open, Diagram 1347 / Diagram 1349 five-plank opens and the previously announced Diagram 1426 van and the Dia. 1744 ballast wagons.

 

Rapido Trains UK SECR 5 and 7 plank wagons in 00 arrive.

Rapido Trains UK first announced these 00 gauge ready to run South Eastern and Chatham Railway (SECR) / Southern Railway wagons in May 2021 and they have now arrived at retailers.  These new models cover the Diagram 1355 seven-plank open and both the Diagram 1347 and Diagram 1349 five-plank opens built by the South Eastern & Chatham Railway on the same Maunsell/Lynes steel underframe.

Graham asked:  “should this review be written in the style of a Rapido marketing email,?” but Muz replied: “Right! Stop that! It’s silly.” (with apologies to Monty Python).

A group of D1355, D1347 and D1349 wagons from Rapido
A post 1936 livery D1355 7 plank wagon, one of the wonky self contained buffers can be seen.
A pre 1936 livery D1347 5 plank with tapered buffers
The 5 plank D1349 with self-contained buffers

I will let the photographs show  how good these wagons are and provide a welcome addition to any SECR / SR modellers fleet. I have only purchased some of the SR versions, but SECR grey and BR Grey and BR Departmental versions are also available (see the original announcement here for the full list).
Some people, without a full understanding of the manufacturing process and where production and overheads costs lie, might crawl away at the RRP of £32.95; and whilst there might still be other manufacturer’s wagons currently available at a cheaper prices the realistic market prices are certainly changing as all costs rise. The models can of course be purchased from retailers such as Kernow Model Rail Centre at a slight discounted price.

The 7 plank open, later SR Diagram 1355, were the SECR’s most numerous wagon with 2,121 wagons built between 1915 and 1927. The SR later fitted a sheet rail. British Railways had over 70 wagons still in service in the 1960s and the last withdrawals were not until the 1970s.

The 5 plank opens utilised the same steel chassis as the 7 plank wagons, 550 were built between 1920 and 1925 with standard buffers that became SR Diagram 1347. A further 150 were built 1921/2  with the self-contained buffer type, as on the 7 plank D1355 wagons, and became SR Diagram 1349. They were withdrawn in the early 1960s.

The well detailed underframe of these Rapido wagons

All three versions of the models, sharing the same underframe, have accurate body detail, including nicely planked insides and now becoming much more common on wagon releases good underframe detail that includes both etched and wire parts.  They also feature nice split spoked wheels on 26mm pin point axles that run in brass bearing cups, that along with a with a weight of 32/33g ensures very free running.

A 7 plank with the usual buffer incorrectly affixed

On my examples, as can be seen in the images,  a number of the self contained buffers were glued in at wonky angles, but being separately applied parts these can be carefully reaffixed.

An SR Brown comparison under the same lighting

The livery application is crisp and well printed. I know for a fact that Rapido have used the same paint colour reference for the SR brown as the Kernow Model Rail Centre used on their ex LSWR/SR D1541 Road Vans, although this appears to be a slightly lighter but still more than acceptable, interpretation of the colour possibly due to the more satin finish, (and even lighter with the lighting I have used in my studio), on these wagons.

The sheet rail parts for the D1355 7 plank wagon yet to be fitted (along with  another buffer to be reaffixed…)
Another group view of the D1355, D1347 and D1349 wagons

The tooling allows for both taped plain and the self-contained buffer types for the 5 plank wagons. To achieve the 7 plank versions fitted with the sheet rail, a pre shaped wire rail along with its moulded mounting brackets for each end of the wagon have been supplied as separate parts for the use to fit (glue) into position (instructions on fitting is included with each wagon).
The holes in the mounting brackets for the sheet rail will need to be opened out very slightly to ensure a good fit. The one slight downside is that the rail can only be positioned in the upright position, as it would be when a sheet was covering the wagon and not, without some modification, in the sideways stowed position when no sheet was fitted.

A comparison of the same brown… the 5 plank has been matt varnished

[Edit 20/05/22] To demonstrate the effect that the factory satin finsih has on the paint colour as mentioned above, the picture left shows a comparison with one of the Rapido wagons given a coat of Testors Dullcoat matt varnish and brings the colour much closer to the Kernow Model Rail Centre ex LSWR/SR D1541 Road Vans, and therefore looking much better.

The sensible choice of body and underframe combination by Rapido Trains UK provides SECR / SR modellers with three different wagon diagrams from one set of tooling and is an approach for choosing wagon types to produce that Rapido Trains UK are have also undertaken with their announcement in January of the ex SECR  Diagram 1426 covered van and the D1744 ballast wagon that also share a common underframe (hopefully with straight buffers…).

Dapol announce new production batches of their 00 gauge ex LSWR B4 0-4-0 tanks and Class73 Electro-diesels

At this weekend’s London Festival of Railway Modelling, Dapol announced new production batches of their ex LSWR Adams B4 0-4-0 tanks and Class 73 Electro-Diesels both in 00 gauge.

Adams B4

‘Guernsey’ from the second batch shunts on Canute Road Quay , the newly announced sister ‘Jersey’ is likely to be in this condition
‘Caen’ and my already renamed ‘Trouville’ show off their Southampton Docks brown livery on Canute Road Quay

The Dapol ex LSWR B4 class 0-4-0t were first announced back in March 2014 and the first versions arrived in June 2018., with a second batch with further livery and detail variants including the first appearance of the Drummond Boiler fitted and one of the 5 off Drummond K14 versions, arriving during 2020.
This third batch includes seven new versions, to the same technical specification as the previous batches, (exact livery versions or artwork have not yet been released) as follows:

  • 4S-018-005 B4 0-4-0T BR Late Crest 30096, as carried between c1959 and December 1963
  • 4S-018-012 B4 0-4-0T Lined Dark Green Jersey 91 [sic Dapol have the number incorrect as she was 81] , as she carried between November 1893 and circa 1920/1 when she gained a more enclosed cab.
  • 4S-018-013 B4 0-4-0T LSWR Dark Green 82, K14 type with Drummond Boiler, as her condition between April 1907 and February 1924 when she gained SR Goods lined black livery.
  • 4S-018-014 B4 0-4-0T Trouville Brown 89, as carried from approx 1923 to April 1935 if no rear cab number or April 1935 to February 1950 if the number is painted on the cab rear.
  • 4S-018-015 B4 0-4-0T Southern Black lined 99, as she carried between January 1926 and January 1936.
  • 4S-018-016 B4 0-4-0T Black ‘Corrall Queen’ nameplate and 30096 smokebox door number plate as she ran between December 1963 and December 1972 when she was owned by P.D.Fuels Ltd of Dibles Wharf.
  • 4S-018-017 B4 0-4-0T Dorset Green 99, after sale in February 1949 to Stewarts & Lloyds Ltd (Bilson Staffordshire) and being scrapped by August 1958.

The livery artwork is under preparation and the finished models are not expected to be available until Q3 2023.

Class 73

E6012 JB type
73002 a JA type, note the slightly different side windows
73136 in Intercity Executive livery

Also announced are a new batch of seven Class 73 Electro-Diesel liveries, and sees the return of BR Blue livery models that have not featured in the line up since the model run was released in November 2015.
The first six of the eventual class of 49 were built by BR at their Eastleigh works in 1962 and were designated Type JA. The remaining locomotives, with a higher power output and top speed increased from 80 to 90mph. were built by English Electric at Vulcan Foundry at Newton Le Willows between 1965 and 1967 and were designated type JB.

Twelve locomotives survive into preservation, including E6003 now named ‘Sir Herbert Walker’ on the Swindon & Cricklade Railway (of which I am part of the owning group) and several are still in use with South Western Railway, Southern, GBRF and Network Rail.

The seven versions announced are as follows:

  • 4D-006-015 Class 73 JB Electric Blue E6012 Small Yellow Panel
  • 4D-006-016 Class 73 JB Early Blue SYP & Double Arrow Logo E6031
  • 4D-006-018 Class 73 JB BR Blue FYP 73120
  • 4D-006-017 Class 73 JA BR Blue FYP 73002
  • 4D-006-020 Class 73 JB Intercity Executive 73136
  • 4D-006-019 Class 73 JB Large Logo BR Blue 73126
  • 4D-006-021 Class 73 JB GB Railfreight Battle of Britain 73109

Dapol advise that the decorated samples, with the same technical specification as previous batches, are under review and feedback is being provided to the factory to correct a small number of minor issues. The models are expected to be available towards the end of the year.

 

 

Two new Southern Railway publications: “Alfred Raworth’s Electric Southern Railway” and “Southern Times”

Two new publications are hitting the shelves of good purveyors of books that are worthy of any Southern Railway historian and or modeller’s reference library.

Firstly, from friends at Pen and Sword Transport is “Alfred Raworth’s Electric Southern Railway.” by Peter Steer.

There have been many books that cover and detail the history and development of the widespread and successful Southern Railway programme of electrification, built on that started by the London and South Western Railway, resulting in ‘Southern Electric’  becoming the ‘The World’s greatest suburban electrification’. Books such as GT Mooney’s Southern Electric, David Brown’s New History of Southern Electric and the South Western Circle’s The Riverside Electric by Colin Chivers, all refer to the part played the by LSWR and then SR General Manager Sir Herbert Walker and his electrical engineer Alfred Raworth.
This substantial 340 page tome, with its 25 chapters, detailing  for the first time a biography of Alfred Raworth’s entire personal story and career; staring with working for his consulting engineer father John Smith Raworth, through to joining the railway, working for the LSWR and SR, the design for an electric railway, being responsible for the implementation of all its their electrification schemes,  becoming Southern Railway Chief Electrical Engineer, the Southern Electric at War, the electric locomotives and Raworth’s plans for the future.

Such schemes are much more than just about rolling stock and this book also provides a look at the infrastructure required that was often hidden behind the closed walls of sub stations etc. It also looks at the business cases, innovative engineering, and politics involved in the electrification of the railways between 1918 and 1956 especially where the Southern went its own way with the use of the third rail system.

A comprehensive and informative read, that contains a wealth of previously unpublished information interspersed with a number of both black and colour photographs, illustrations and drawings. It substantially fills many gaps in the background, lifetime and work of ‘electrification genius’ Alfred Raworth. Highly recommended.

The second, is a familiar but different new periodical “Southern Times, Issue 1: Spring 2022” from Transport Treasury publishing.  

Southern Times is the new quarterly periodical, edited by my friend Kevin Robertson, for followers of the Southern Railway, British Railways Southern Region, as well as the pre group companies; LSWR, SECR, LBSCR, and SECR. It is intended to be a quarterly publication.
If this sounds familiar, it will do, as it is effectively a replacement for the long established and enjoyable ‘Southern Way’ from a different publisher (whether Southern Way might continue under a new editor we will have to wait and see).
This first issue of Southern Times, follows the previous periodicals format of  80 pages of an eclectic mix of Southern related articles and images both black and white and in colour, many of which have been previously unpublished.
The great post war image of Schools class 905 in malachite at Eastleigh on the front cover must have been a late change as according the caption is Port Line leaving Victoria on the Golden Arrow in 1954!
Highlights in this issue includes: new light on the Joint LSWR/LBSC and LSWR steam railmotors, The Southern from the air, Stephen Townroe’s colour archive, David McKenna Chairman and General Manager, a photo feature on EMUs, Treasures from the Bluebell Railway Museum and more to dip into. If you were an ardent collector of the Southern Way then this latest incarnation Southern Times will be a sure winner.

The model railway world and mainly Southern Railway meanderings of Graham 'Muz' Muspratt

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