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Powsides/Slaters Private Owner wagons


Mikkel

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I wanted some Private Owners for Farthing, so have built a couple of Powsides kits, i.e. painted and pre-lettered Slaters kits. I opted for two Gloucester designs to RCH 1887 specifications, one a 5-plank side-door wagon, the other a 7-plank side- and end-door job. 

 

 

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I like the overall appearance, although TBH the small lettering isn’t quite up to current standards. Perhaps I was unlucky, they look fine on the website.

 

 

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The kits have blank interior sides, so the moulding pips were filed away and planking was indicated with a scriber.

 

 

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The instructions recommend joining all sides first, then mounting the floor inside. I struggled a bit with this, the floor wasn’t a perfect fit and the sides were lightly curved. Some dismantling and remedial work ensued, but I got there in the end.

 

 

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I used waisted pin-point bearings from MJT. Split spoke wheels on one wagon, and plain spokes for the other one because I ran out. Did some of these wagons eventually receive plain spoke wheels? Otherwise I’ll swop the erroneous set later.

 

 

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Some of the small lettering was a bit damaged or missing as the kits came. I touched it up as best I could. Some bits I simply painted over. I’d rather have absent lettering than odd lettering.

 

 

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The built-up wagons. 

 

 

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Having admired Dave’s lovely builds of the 7mm versions of these kits, I decided to indicate the interior ironwork as he has done. For this I simply used strips of Evergreen (painted darker after this shot).

 

 

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Good interior photos of these wagons are rare, so drawing on discussion by Stephen and other helpful RMwebbers I drew up the above sketch to guide my detailing of the interior. Please note that this is my own rough and ready rendering. There are various unknowns and no one has “signed off” on this sketch. Anyone interested should consult Stephen’s drawing and info here.

 

 

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Interior ironwork in place. The kit does include a hinge for the end door. On some wagon types this was positioned above the top plank, but in this case I fitted it just behind the top plank, based on this discussion.

 

 


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Archer’s rivet transfers at the fixed ends.

 

 

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Stephen pointed out the “big nuts” that appear on the ends of many Gloucester wagons, extending from the diagonal irons inside. Looking at photos they seem to have been present on both 5-, 6- and 7-planks as seen here left to right (obviously only at fixed ends). 

 

 

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The nuts don’t feature in the kit, so I added them. On the 7-planker I drilled holes and stuck in bits of brass. This proved tricky as it’s just by the corner joins, so on the 5-planker I Mek-Pak’ed on bits of plastic rod instead, as seen above.

 

 

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As usual: Liquid Gravity and 3mm Sprat & Winkles. I'm always amazed how much difference weight makes to the "feel" of a wagon. The couplings too: Ugly they may be, but they turn it into a working vehicle.

 

 

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Weathering the interior with pigments. The “Sinai Dust” seen here is courtesy of the late Mick Bonwick. Thank you, Mick.

 

 

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The Ayres wagon. Phil Parker uses a fibre glass brush to fade the lettering on printed RTR wagons. But these are transfers, so would tear (I did try).  Instead I lightly dry-brushed base colour over the lettering. Helps a bit, but not quite as effective. 

 

 

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C&G Ayres still exist as a well-known Reading removal company and former GWR cartage agent. This (very) close crop shows one of their removal containers at Reading ca. 1905. 

 

 

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But a search of the British Newspaper Archive showed that C&G Ayres were also at one time coal traders [Source: Reading Mercury Oxford Gazette March 9, 1918]. So I need to decide whether to designate the Ayres wagon for coal or furniture. I wonder if this explains the difference between the red Powsides livery and the green wagon livery that I normally associate the company with.

 

 

 

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The Weedon wagon. You can just make out the nuts on the ends, but they aren't really noticeable. The effort would arguably have been better spent detailing the brake gear!

 

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I had assumed the Weedon Brothers were mainly coal and coke merchants, but again newspapers and directories of the time offered further info. [Source: Kelly's Directory of Berks, Bucks & Oxon, 1911]. It seems that manure was also a key aspect of their business. The company features on the right in this directory clipping - amongst lime burners, loan offices, lunatic asylums and other essentials of progress!

 

 

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Though based at Goring, the Weedon Brothers had stores in a number of places, as illustrated in the above 1889 advert. I’m inclined to designate the wagon for manure rather than coal. I wonder what that would mean for the weathering? Richard's latest book on Wiltshire Private Owners is firmly on my wishlist.

 

 

 

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Anyway, the wagons are now running at Farthing. Here's No. 1897 knocking them about in the sidings behind the stables.

 

 

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Overall I've enjoyed the build. May have a go at applying my own transfers next time. 

 

 

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It's just a couple of plastic wagons of course, but I learnt a lot along the way. That's one of the great things about modelling, every build is an entry point to railway history.  Thanks to everyone for the help.

 

Edited by Mikkel

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  • RMweb Gold

Thanks John, I think the interior detailing is worth it for an empty wagon. Sheeting them would be a lot quicker though! 

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Nicely detailed Mikkel, I think the light weathering brings out the detail.

 

Good research behind them too. 

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Mikkel

Posted (edited)

Thanks Dave. Dry-brushed Vallejo "Pale sand" works well for light weathering, I think. That and MIG "Light European Earth" pigment are used for weathering  across buildings, ground and stock, in an attempt to bring things together visually.

 

Edited by Mikkel
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Excellent work Mikkel, the wagons look great and thanks for the link to my 7mm efforts:)

 

If you want to have a go fading the writing on Slaters wagons with a fibreglass brush, paint the sides with varnish first and allow to dry.  The varnish seals the lettering in place, but the fibreglass bristles wear this away very progressively and allow some subtle distressing/fading.

 

Best wishes

 

Dave

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Mikkel, 

While I understand that there are a number of unknowns concerning what the interior of those wagons should look like and no one has "signed off" on those drawings, I have to say to me those interiors just "look right." Indeed they look fantastic! Thanks for sharing and giving me some encouragement to give a similar project a go!

 

Dave 

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Looking good. Now I have no choice but to retrofit the big nuts on all my Gloucester wagons...

 

I very much doubt any C&G Ayres mineral wagon was used for furniture - they were coal merchants on a large scale, as the size of their fleet indicates. There's a little essay about them by Keith Turton on Warwickshire Railways from which I learned that the green and yellow livery dates from 1910 - which skewered my Hornby upgrades, at least for my c. 1902 purposes - while the red goes back to broad gauge days.

 

I find myself twitching about that Weedon wagon. I wonder if this is one where POWSides have used a Gloucester wagon to stand in for a wagon of some other builder. The layout of the lettering doesn't look quite right - I would expect Wallingford Watlington and Wheatley each to be written on a plank, not over the join of two planks. Unfortunately I don't have Bill Hudson's Vol. 2, which is where the Lightmoor Index tells me a photo is to be found but there is a photo of a coke wagon built by the Birmingham RC&W Co. in the HMRS collection.

 

Anyway, as I know you know, there were plenty of dumb-buffered PO wagons still doing sterling service - there's a rather nice one from Wyken Colliery, on the LNWR Coventry-Nuneaton line, in that famous Vastern Road Yard photo! (Just to the left and down from the C&G Ayers furniture container.)

 

Re. that container - it does look very like the ones that became widespread in the 1930s but c. 1905 there were no conflats - so presumably an ordinary low-sided open would be used.

 

Excuse my insomniacal ramblings.

Edited by Compound2632
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The wagons look great, clearly I shall need to add some at Henley on Thames.

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6 hours ago, wenlock said:

Excellent work Mikkel, the wagons look great and thanks for the link to my 7mm efforts:)

 

If you want to have a go fading the writing on Slaters wagons with a fibreglass brush, paint the sides with varnish first and allow to dry.  The varnish seals the lettering in place, but the fibreglass bristles wear this away very progressively and allow some subtle distressing/fading.

 

Best wishes

 

Dave

 

Thank you Dave, your own builds were a great inspiration - as always. I did try what you describe, matt varnish to hold the transfers in place, and then light work with a fibre glass brush. But the brush seemed to tear the edges of the letters in an unsightly manner. Perhaps I need to try again, and to be more courageous.

 

 

4 hours ago, davefromacrossthepond said:

Mikkel, 

While I understand that there are a number of unknowns concerning what the interior of those wagons should look like and no one has "signed off" on those drawings, I have to say to me those interiors just "look right." Indeed they look fantastic! Thanks for sharing and giving me some encouragement to give a similar project a go!

 

Dave 

 

Many thanks Dave. Have a go, it felt worthwhile to me, turns the wagon into your own. That said, the interior detailing probably took 3 times as long as building up the wagons. Some might see that as defeating the purpose of the pre-painted and -lettered Powsides range, which I suppose is to get something up and running quickly.

 

 

28 minutes ago, Neal Ball said:

The wagons look great, clearly I shall need to add some at Henley on Thames.

 

They would fit right in I think! It took me a little getting used to though: After years of seeing only the functional liveries of the railway companies on my layouts, these bright and big-lettered wagons seemed a bit out of place at first. I'm hooked now though.

 

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2 minutes ago, Mikkel said:

 

Thank you Dave, your own builds were a great inspiration - as always. I did try what you describe, matt varnish to hold the transfers in place, and then light work with a fibre glass brush. But the brush seemed to tear the edges of the letters in an unsightly manner. Perhaps I need to try again, and to be more courageous.

 

 

 

Many thanks Dave. Have a go, it felt worthwhile to me, turns the wagon into your own. That said, the interior detailing probably took 3 times as long as building up the wagons. Some might see that as defeating the purpose of the pre-painted and -lettered Powsides range, which I suppose is to get something up and running quickly.

 

 

 

They would fit right in I think! It took me a little getting used to though: After years of seeing only the functional liveries of the railway companies on my layouts, these bright and big-lettered wagons seemed a bit out of place at first. I'm hooked now though.

 


I’ve got two Holtons wagons from POW. One was a kit in Black, the other I bought only the transfers and put them onto a Red Oxide painted wagon. I made the mistake of trying to hand paint varnish over the top….. it’s now a distressed wagon!

 

I’ve just been looking on the website at some of the Reading based coal merchants, there are some more possibilities for me there…. Particularly Toomer whose office is at the end of the turntable at Henley.

 

I also had a look at one of your scratch built horse drawn delivery vans. Amazing work.

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Mikkel

Posted (edited)

 

4 hours ago, Compound2632 said:

Now I have no choice but to retrofit the big nuts on all my Gloucester wagons...

 

Thanks for all your help with this Stephen, that and the D299 thread is an ongoing source of learning for me.

 

Regarding the nuts at the ends, they only really show in photos – and even there not very visibly. Outside of the camera I struggle to see them at all.

 

If the rest of a wagon build has a similar level of detail it makes sense to include them, but in my case it’s somewhat inconsistent: In other areas I have approached these wagons quite pragmatically, e.g. with little detailing of the brake gear, retaining the rather thick small lettering, not fitting chains for the end door, etc.

 

This has made me realize that I need to establish some sort of hierarchy for my wagon detailing efforts, to avoid too many inconsistencies. E.g.:

1.       Interior planking

2.       Interior ironwork

3.       Detailed running gear

4.       Fine Lettering

5.       Etc…?

 

I can then decide where to make my cut-off point.

 

4 hours ago, Compound2632 said:

I very much doubt any C&G Ayres mineral wagon was used for furniture - they were coal merchants on a large scale, as the size of their fleet indicates. There's a little essay about them by Keith Turton on Warwickshire Railways from which I learned that the green and yellow livery dates from 1910 - which skewered my Hornby upgrades, at least for my c. 1902 purposes - while the red goes back to broad gauge days.

 

Aha, hadn't seen that, very useful. The Ayres lettering seems to be available as separate transfers from Powsides, the question of course is whether they would fit the Hornby wagons.

 

4 hours ago, Compound2632 said:

I find myself twitching about that Weedon wagon. I wonder if this is one where POWSides have used a Gloucester wagon to stand in for a wagon of some other builder. The layout of the lettering doesn't look quite right - I would expect Wallingford Watlington and Wheatley each to be written on a plank, not over the join of two planks. Unfortunately I don't have Bill Hudson's Vol. 2, which is where the Lightmoor Index tells me a photo is to be found but there is a photo of a coke wagon built by the Birmingham RC&W Co. in the HMRS collection.

 

I wonder if the Weedon wagon lettering has slipped when making the transfers, or been compressed somehow. If you look at the original Powsides graphic representation, that lettering is lower:

 

https://www.powsides.co.uk/search.php/Weedon?

 

4 hours ago, Compound2632 said:

Anyway, as I know you know, there were plenty of dumb-buffered PO wagons still doing sterling service - there's a rather nice one from Wyken Colliery, on the LNWR Coventry-Nuneaton line, in that famous Vastern Road Yard photo! (Just to the left and down from the C&G Ayers furniture container.)

 

Interesting. Doesn't look too difficult to replicate that livery, I have one of the HMRS transfer sheets with various large types of lettering. The central one seems to have shaded letters, the others not.  The plan was to focus on local traders in order to indicate the geography of Farthing, but I can see I may need to throw in some colliery company wagons.

 

Edited by Mikkel
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25 minutes ago, Neal Ball said:


I’ve got two Holtons wagons from POW. One was a kit in Black, the other I bought only the transfers and put them onto a Red Oxide painted wagon. I made the mistake of trying to hand paint varnish over the top….. it’s now a distressed wagon!

 

I’ve just been looking on the website at some of the Reading based coal merchants, there are some more possibilities for me there…. Particularly Toomer whose office is at the end of the turntable at Henley.

 

I also had a look at one of your scratch built horse drawn delivery vans. Amazing work.

 

Thanks again Neal. Out if interest, what went wrong with the varnish on the Red Oxide wagon? I had been thinking of trying something similar.

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11 minutes ago, Mikkel said:

 

Thanks again Neal. Out if interest, what went wrong with the varnish on the Red Oxide wagon? I had been thinking of trying something similar.


I think it was simply it didn’t like the varnish brushed on. It then started to craze. Spraying varnish is clearly the answer!


I will add a photo next week when we are back from holiday.

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Outstanding Mikkel, thank you for your write up on the extra detailing to these kits. I have enjoyed building a number of these as you know and if you do not mind would like to use some of your knowledge to detail some more of these kits.

I really like your subtle weathering and the use of pigments. How do you fix the pigments please?

Edited by Bluemonkey presents....
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1 hour ago, Mikkel said:

Aha, hadn't seen that, very useful. The Ayres lettering seems to be available as separate transfers from Powsides, the question of course is whether they would fit the Hornby wagons.

 

It was rather the other way round. Hornby did a beautiful rendition of the livery on their near-miss 1887 6-plank wagon, which I tried upgrading in the running gear department; this photo shows the unmodified wagon (their weathered version, from a 3-pack) posed with a suitable pre-grouping locomotive:

 

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The quality of the printing is stunning:

 

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It's a shame that Hornby have moved away from this underframe for these wagon bodies as it gave a really surprisingly good impression, albeit depending on a good deal of trompe l'oeil - the brake V-hanger is the one thing that stands out, although closer inspection reveals that the brake lever is a foot thick at the pivot!

 

1 hour ago, Mikkel said:

I wonder if the Weedon wagon lettering has slipped when making the transfers, or been compressed somehow. If you look at the original Powsides graphic representation, that lettering is lower:

 

https://www.powsides.co.uk/search.php/Weedon?

 

Perhaps. I did go to look when writing my post but the POWSides website isn't working for me just at the moment.

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9 hours ago, Compound2632 said:

Re. that container - it does look very like the ones that became widespread in the 1930s but c. 1905 there were no conflats - so presumably an ordinary low-sided open would be used.

 

That is certainly the case for the Newberry container in the centre of a much published image of Newbury station prior to the rebuilding (to 4 tracks). It's the first one on the disused stations website.  

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Mikkel

Posted (edited)

9 hours ago, Bluemonkey presents.... said:

Outstanding Mikkel, thank you for your write up on the extra detailing to these kits. I have enjoyed building a number of these as you know and if you do not mind would like to use some of your knowledge to detail some more of these kits.

I really like your subtle weathering and the use of pigments. How do you fix the pigments please?

 

Many thanks Matt. Yes your own builds reminded me of the kits I had, I think we discussed the issues with the fine lettering at that time also. 

 

Regarding pigments, first of all please note that modern pigments (as opposed to traditional weathering powders) are a fairly new thing for me, so I don't have much experience with them. The pigments on these wagons have not been fixed. Following Mick Bonwick's advice I used the pigments from MIG and AK Interactive, and made sure they were applied to a matt surface. The surplus was just brushed off. Mick did also introduce me to pigment fixer, though I am still to experiment properly with that - but I think it would only really work for ground textures etc? Apart from Mick's own blog there's a thread here: 

 

 

 

8 hours ago, Compound2632 said:

 

It was rather the other way round. Hornby did a beautiful rendition of the livery on their near-miss 1887 6-plank wagon, which I tried upgrading in the running gear department; this photo shows the unmodified wagon (their weathered version, from a 3-pack) posed with a suitable pre-grouping locomotive:

 

456649404_HornbyAyers1.JPG.72b974cdd08f669cfc03b8521564edd8.JPG

 

The quality of the printing is stunning:

 

1253594072_HornbyAyers2.JPG.93d8b65acf2e4a9fcad713a48e8f00e6.JPG

 

It's certainly an impressive print. What I meant was, if the Hornby wagons are 1887 then could you not apply the red Ayres livery (so that it matches your 1902 period) and do the detailing? But maybe I misunderstand.

 

The Powsides site seems to be hit and miss at the moment.

 

 

3 hours ago, richbrummitt said:

 

That is certainly the case for the Newberry container in the centre of a much published image of Newbury station prior to the rebuilding (to 4 tracks). It's the first one on the disused stations website.  

 

I have often thought that the wagon and container would make an interesting model.

 

If I remember correctly we discussed that photo on another thread and arrived at the conclusion that the coach and wagon are not actually on a moving train but temporarily parked. 

 

Edited for clarity

Edited by Mikkel
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3 hours ago, Mikkel said:

It's certainly an impressive print. What I meant was, if the Hornby wagons are 1887 then could you not apply the red Ayres livery (so that it matches your 1902 period) and do the detailing? But maybe I misunderstand.

 

I would start from something that was closer to the prototype! The kit you've built, in fact.

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That would be nice to see. If you are thinking of a pre-lettered one it might be good to pick it up at a shop or their exhibition stand, if that's practical. The lettering on mine was damaged/peeling here and there, so you could pick a good one. Or alternatively get the transfer.

 

I'm thinking of painting over the thick small lettering on the Weedon one, and replacing it with new lettering. Would give me the opportunity to add Farthing in there.

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3 hours ago, Mikkel said:

That would be nice to see. If you are thinking of a pre-lettered one it might be good to pick it up at a shop or their exhibition stand, if that's practical. The lettering on mine was damaged/peeling here and there, so you could pick a good one. Or alternatively get the transfer.

 

I can't say I've had a problem but it is a while since I've had a pre-lettered kit rather than transfers. But between you you and @jwealleans are tempting me to try some more pre-lettered kits. There is demand for anthracite in the West Midlands so some Swansea Vale collieries are on my list.

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I have had a couple of kits where the lettering is dodgy in the area of the door securing  pins.  Before I built the kits,  I used some Micro set and sol and then sprayed the sides with Dulcote. Some areas of the lettering will need some touching up with paint,  when I get around to painting the underframes and weathering.

 

 

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17 minutes ago, Siberian Snooper said:

I used some Micro set and sol and then sprayed the sides with Dulcote.

 

Micro set and sol are formulated to dissolve the carrier film on transfers that have such a thing, such as waterslide. I'd not thought of using them with dry rub-down transfers, as I couldn't see what benefit they would bring. So I'm interested to know what difference you find they make. I would always want to varnish over the transfers; when applying them myself I gloss varnish the surface first but I don't think POWSides do that themselves - that may be the root of the problems some report.

Edited by Compound2632
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I think they also partly dissolve the decal, in the case of dry print, softening it slightly so it both adheres to the surface better and fits around the 3D detail.

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Mikkel,

Interesting build, and well thought out and accomplished as usual.

 

I will have some POW sides on my Christmas list so this is timely.  I will probably stop at number two on your list and the discussion about the transfers is also interesting.

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