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Posted (edited)

Hi folks,

 

There is at least one thread on the forum dealing with 'old-fashioned' 0-gauge; despite searching I haven't been able to find anything similar in respect of 00.

 

Is it something that anybody models in or with?  I don't mean collections of three rail stock, or the wonderful Tri-ang collectors' layouts that I sometimes see at shows; rather, I am thinking about those who choose to model with items that were available before the early 1980s.

 

For example, would anyone choose to model British Rail of the late 1970s using only the stock available at the time (e.g. Tri-ang Met-Camm dmu, Hornby classes 25/37/47/HST)?

 

It's something that has appealed to me, so I am curious if it has appealed to anyone else.

 

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

 

Regards,

 

Alex.

Edited by Alex TM
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I'm pretty sure there are people who do that.

 

I did have an idea a while ago of trying to buy all the wagons from the Hornby catalogues I had as a kid in the late 1970s. It probably wouldn't be that difficult as most of them were in the range for years. I still have a handful of them.

 

I don't mean rarities, just the bog standard ones you find cheap at exhibitions. Prime Pork, Birds Eye,  McVities, Bannockburn, etc.

 

http://www.hornbyguide.com/year_details.asp?yearid=16

 

And yes. I did plan on "playing" with them rather than just collecting. Still got a few of the locomotives from that era which have sentimental value, but not worth upgrading such as the Hall, 57XX, 101 and E2.

 

As much a way to have something for my nephew to use as anything else. 

 

 

 

Jason

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6 hours ago, Alex TM said:

I don't mean collections of three rail stock, or the wonderful Tri-ang collectors' layouts that I sometimes see at shows; rather, I am thinking about those who choose to model with items that were available before the early 1980s.

What's the distinction? Is it merely collecting based on age rather than company?

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I think the distinction is hard to pin down, but there was a sea change in the level of detail expected of an RTR 00 item around the time that Airfix and Palitoy Mainline, and to some extent Lima, came on the scene.  Triang Hornby as they were calling themselves at the time were very slow to up their game in response to this.  If you go back to the demise of Hornby Dublo and the acquisition of the Hornby name;, T/Hornby only had Trix as a competitor for some years and Trix, while making some not unreasonable models, were sucking the eye tooth with the 3.8mm to the foot scale.  

 

Triang Hornby were probably at their lowest ebb at around this time; tied culturally to the train set market, and producing models that were inferior in terms of finish and detail, never mind scale, with plastic skirts below boilers, smaller centre drivers, stamped out tinplate running gear, and that sat 2mm too high off the railhead as the result of a compromise dating back to the Black Princess in order to enable it's leading bogie to clear changes of gradient on curves.  The coaching stock included Caledonian, GW, and LNER Thompsons with B1 BR generic bogies, and the clip hole for the roof clearly visible on the ends.  Mk1s were produced in big 4 liveries, though to be fair Lima were guilty of this as well, and very few of the freight vehicles were anything like the prototypes, and carried largely imaginary PO liveries (again, the competition did this as well, but at least provided real liveries and acceptably accurate models.  

 

The new kids on the block revolutionised the game, and directly presaged the hi-fi models we enjoy today, but they were not up to modern scratch.  Hornby, as they started calling themselves, Airfix, and Lima went for tender drives on steam outline locos, which were all a bit ropey, and Lima's steam mechanisms were appalling; a 94xx with fluted coupling rods, solid backed wheels, and no crankpin on the centre driver wasn't very impressive, though the bodywork was not too bad.  Cabs remained full of motors, except for the tender drive locos.  Mainline embarked on a split chassis campaign and were highly successful until wear set in to the plastic axle muffs and the wheels went out of quarter.  This apart they were probably the best of the bunch.  Their successor, Bachmann, is still the only supplier of  RTR 16t steel minerals with the correct wheelbase, and in a good variety of body shapes and diagram variants as well.

 

Airfix tried an innovative mech with their 14xx, which had a flexible drive shaft and 'ball point pen' type roller ball sprung plunger pickups which eventually crippled the model as the plungers seized up. but it was excellent while it worked.  Apart from that and their large prairie, it was wall to wall pancakes, described as 'ring field' in an attempt to evoke the old Hornby Dublo motor, filling cabs and and driving at insane rpms in order to develop useable power out of their tiny armatures (in order to show daylight beneath boilers except for Hornby).  This resulted in cheap and nasty plastic spur cog gears to (largely fail to) get the final reduction low enough to control the locos at low speeds.  Vaguely acceptable loads could only be hauled with the aid of traction tyres, which left crud all over the place and interfered with electrical continuity.  Mainline made a 2251 which had the half-chassis blocks intruding into the cab, which was a let down for them.

 

These were the foundations of the current RTR scene being laid, but there was a long way to go yet.  I wasted 2 hours last night browsing Hornby wagons on 'Bay; remarkably few of them were in any way accurate unless they were recent enough to be fitted with NEM couplers, and some Railroad stuff still isn't, and wading through page after page of generic toys in imaginary liveries wore me down.

 

Now, quite a lot of that factual account is coloured or informed by my personal opinion, and should be read in that light, but I suspect this is the core of the answer to the OP's original question.  Truth is that most RTR stuff in the 70s and 80s was awful, and such of it that wasn't was deeply flawed mechanically.  Lima mk1 coaches were not far off scale, but had sides a scale 18" thick. most freight vehicles had moulded rather than separate handbrake levers that were a foot wide, and IIRC only Airfix had brake blocks in line with the wheels as opposed to moulded to the W irons clawing uselessly at fresh air.  Buffers were horrible little plastic mushrooms, always undersized.  Airfix tried with a small tension lock coupling, but Lima's was even bigger than Hornby's, and LIma trains had about a scale 5' between buffer heads, so they looked more like the description I once heard from an RAF Shackleton pilot of his plane; '75,000 rivets flying in loose formation'!

 

Things have improved steadily in the intervening decades, much of which I was out of the game for following an extended period of what is best described as 'unsettled lifestyle' following a disastrous divorce, and I'm not the first and won't be the last that happens to.  If you look at RTR from prior to, say, 1990, you will understand why so many of us tried to up our game and improve the realism and running of our locos with kits.  Sometime in the 90s, after a few hiccups involving firms going out of business and toolings being bought by others, RTR became as good as well built kits and is now much better; only fine scale scratch building can seriously better it in terms of scale and detailed appearance and only kits or scratchbuilds can achieve the sort of haulage at speed that those modellers with the space require.

 

Hornby were slowest to catch up, and suffered financial losses in consequence.  They and Dapol are still knocking out some pretty old toolings, and still can't manage a 16ton steel mineral on a correct size chassis, but later production has been better and is 'up to scratch'.  Airfix and Lima toolings are still being produced by H, but with improved chassis.  

 

I am not sure at all that 70s or 80s RTR is worth the bother, though I get the point of modelling that period using RTR available at that time.  But it can be done much better with current production stock, which will run better as well, and, by the time you've brought your eBay bargains into reliable running condition, not much more expensive.  This is only my opinion and is of course supertrumped by Rule 1.

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2 hours ago, eldomtom2 said:

What's the distinction? Is it merely collecting based on age rather than company?

Hi again,

 

Sorry for the lack of clarity in my thinking.  The distinction is based on the idea that both of these subjects, i.e. 3-rail, and Tri-ang, have what seems to me to be a significant following.  I've seen a few displays of both of those, and enjoy them.

 

20 minutes ago, The Johnster said:

I am not sure at all that 70s or 80s RTR is worth the bother

On the basis of the quality and detail available now, I agree.  Like some of those who collect Dublo, etc, I think it's because, for me, it's the era during which I got interested in the hobby.

 

As ever, many thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

 

Regards,

 

Alex.

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You're welcome; you raised an interesting point and nobody else has raised that particular point.  If the point of an exercise is to model the 70s and 80s, a much greater variety of much better quality stock is available deze daze, but if the point is to recreate modelling the 70s and 80s as it would have been modelled at the time, that's a different bag of frogs.  It becomes a sort of intellectual 'preservation' exercise, and you could maybe undertake it in a room with a CRT tv and VHS, wearing suitable clothes and eating Cadbury's Smash washed down by a can of that lager where you had to 'follow the bear' while watching Starsky and Hutch.  It is about recreating a period by re-living it, rather than recreating it in 4mm scale.  Rule 1 decides if it's a worthwhile undertaking!

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Re scenic two-rail. Sort of, in that I am happy to buy/run an old model provided it looks close enough to remind me of what it is supposed to be. I can live with old Lima coaches etc., behind my Tri-ang Class 31 as they still look like a 31 pulling some Mk 1s. The overall effect satisfies even if the  specific details are less than accurate.

 

HD Three rail - big collection, but no layout currently as no space (My previous exhibition circuit layout). There is a distinction between collecting and correctly displaying a marque and running trains.

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Posted (edited)

Alex

 

As well as my old-fashioned 0, I'm supposed to be building a small layout in 00, called the 1963 BLT, using material dating from that high water mark year, when Triang and Hornby were attempting to beat one another to death by flooding the market with new releases, and Airfix, Superquick et al were churning out "line side" material for a mass market.

 

Its gone into stasis at the moment, but the concept is to build a working layout in the style of the time, rather than a collection.

 

I call this retro-modelling, and there are a few other people who are into it, but its not exactly widely popular, because (a) old 00 trains don't run as well as modern ones, and (b) most people want high-fidelity rather than evocation.

 

To me, and I admit its a bit of cover for a tendency to collect, the difference is that retro-modelling actually involves making things, kits or scratch-building using era-appropriate materials, and involves trying to build layouts that look like the layouts that modellers were building at XYZ date, rather than reproducing those oh-so-tempting catalogue illustrations.

 

Lots of HD collectors have got superb retro-layouts that include a lot of their own work, Ron Dodds most famously. look for his videos on YouTube.

 

Railway modelling has always, since the very start before WW1, been about advancing standards of fidelity, its about forever moving forward with techniques and materials. Retro-modelling is about saying "No, lets stop the calender at XYZ year and build as they built then, because I like the look and feel of the way they did it then, more than I like the way people are doing it now.". Why one likes models from a particular period is a very personal thing, possibly mainly about nostalgia, but it can also be about the aesthetic ........ I really like the aesthetic of late-1930s to mid-1950s 0 gauge, for instance, the plainness and austerity of it.

 

Kevin

Edited by Nearholmer
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I get what Alex is on about.

 

More things like this rather than anything else.

 

People make layouts of Hornby Dublo and Triang using things directly out of the catalogues, Why not make similar layouts using stuff from the late 1970s or 1980s? Instead of Blue Pullmans why not APTs or HSTs?

 

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Photos from old Hornby catalogues found on the net. That's what I grew up wanting, not Nellies or Triang Giraffe Cars.

 

 

Jason

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11 hours ago, Alex TM said:

Hi folks,

 

There is at least one thread on the forum dealing with 'old-fashioned' 0-gauge; despite searching I haven't been able to find anything similar in respect of 00.

 

Is it something that anybody models in or with?  I don't mean collections of three rail stock, or the wonderful Tri-ang collectors' layouts that I sometimes see at shows; rather, I am thinking about those who choose to model with items that were available before the early 1980s.

 

For example, would anyone choose to model British Rail of the late 1970s using only the stock available at the time (e.g. Tri-ang Met-Camm dmu, Hornby classes 25/37/47/HST)?

 

It's something that has appealed to me, so I am curious if it has appealed to anyone else.

 

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

 

Regards,

 

Alex.

It's certainly passed through my mind. A combination of thrift, nostalgia for the BR Blue era, similar nostalgia for 60s and 70s RM articles and a liking for "impressionistic" modelling makes the idea hugely appealing. However, my short attention span and wide range of other interests have prevented me from actually achieving it. Or anything much else for that matter :D

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I always wanted the 12x4 layout it on the front of the old Hornby track plans catalogue, even though I’ve long moved on a bit of me would still quite like to do it to complete the story as it were! 
 

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To make the above using modern day items would spoil the nostalgic authenticity so it’d have to be done using all original parts. I’ve still got a few select items bought as a kid to try and replicate this, the station buildings, the large glass roof and the semaphore signals - strangely just the smell of the metal parts on the old signals takes me right back to being 8 years old again! :lol:
 

Cheers,

James

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Retracing our steps just a little, but think on this.  If it hadn't been for Mainline and Airfix, you would pretty much still be using the same sort of things that were about back in the sixties. Sure, you'd have things like Wills, Ratio & Keyser, but the core objects would still be basically Triang Hornby. 

 

Triang Hornby were, for a long time, 'the only game in town'. Why change, when you have a majority on the market? Once they had some serious competition, Triang Hornby 'got going', and fair play to them, they have turned out some really first-rate models. 

 

Cheers,

Ian. 

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You are probably describing my layout!  I first got an electric Trainset in 1965 aged three . A Triang Freightmaster . Mad on railways more models were received at subsequent Christmases .  Each year the new Hornby catalogue was avidly awaited and when it arrived it was eagerly poured over . Every single picture studied in detail . I’ve had some form of layout all my life but when I moved to my “new” house in 1990 the loft was floored and the boards put up the loft . I have recently written that I was inspired by layouts appearing in magazines , specifically one called Hanbury . So my layout is a large roundy roundy but with terminal platforms so trains have somewhere to go and come from . I like operating my trains
 

As time went on I acquired more models , so that today I have  the latest a Hornby HST And a 1970s one .I also run what I call the heritage fleet these locos from the 60s through 70s and 80s . For instance I have an original 1979 Hornby Mallard which I still run even though there are better models now available .  I’ve realised as I went on that really what I was trying to recreate wasnt the real railways as such but actually scenes from these Tri-ang Hornby and Hornby catalogues I used to pour over . Using eBay I started buying locos I used to want but could never afford back then, Evening Star , BR Flying Scotsman , Wrenn City of Glasgow , Windsor Castle etc . So I do run the layout in 70s catalogue mode quite a lot of the time .  

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3 hours ago, Mike Buckner said:

It seems to me that a change of title to the thread is called for.

 

What to?  It's old fashioned. It's 00 gauge.

 

The Collectable/Vintage stuff already has it's own section. What we are discussing wouldn't fit into that section.

 

 

 

Jason

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1 hour ago, tomparryharry said:

Retracing our steps just a little, but think on this.  If it hadn't been for Mainline and Airfix, you would pretty much still be using the same sort of things that were about back in the sixties. Sure, you'd have things like Wills, Ratio & Keyser, but the core objects would still be basically Triang Hornby. 

 

Triang Hornby were, for a long time, 'the only game in town'. Why change, when you have a majority on the market? Once they had some serious competition, Triang Hornby 'got going', and fair play to them, they have turned out some really first-rate models. 

 

Cheers,

Ian. 

Triang Hornby never really addressed the competition until well after they became Hornby and not to any significant extent until the turn of the century around the time they adopted NEM standards.  Apart from 'design clever' glitches they are very good deze daze, but held on to the toy trainset market for far too long, and still have a foot in that camp.  They are producing Airfix coaches as railroad models, and the recent production of the Dean Single and the shorty clerestories still has B1 bogies, while the gangwayed clerestories are still not tooled for panelling.  Quality control is an issue, highlighted by the Large Prairie thread and, for me, by my 42xx which shed bits everywhere; I don't get the impression that they are yet quite fully on top of producing highly detailed models with lots of separate discrete parts.  One of my Collett suburbans, best RTR coaches I've ever owned, had to be replaced for missing handrails.  Of my red box items, only a Southern 'B' van and a 21ton steel hopper have been problem free.  LNER 9-plank 21tonners needed NEM couplings before they would run reliably, and I have had to do a lot of tweaking on an LNER long CCT, a design clever item, to achieve reliable running, and it still does not run particularly freely.

 

I have never had this sort of issue with any of my models from another company that uses blue boxes, or the one that uses yellow boxes.  Hornby have improved hugely and are still improving, but do not yet have laurels to rest on.  I am fortunate that, like you Ian, I can deal with most of the issues that arise, but many modellers will not have or want the skillsets, and their views of Hornby will be informed accordingly.  At least the 70s era models are pretty indestructible, and I can see why that attracts some folks.

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On 18/07/2020 at 13:26, Alex TM said:

I don't mean collections of three rail stock, or the wonderful Tri-ang collectors' layouts that I sometimes see at shows; rather, I am thinking about those who choose to model with items that were available before the early 1980s.

 

 

So you want this thread to exclude a great deal that is old fashioned and 00 gauge. That isn't clear from the thread title.

 

 

13 minutes ago, Steamport Southport said:

What to?  It's old fashioned. It's 00 gauge.

The Collectable/Vintage stuff already has it's own section. What we are discussing wouldn't fit into that section.

 

 

There are other threads whose titles make it clear they focus on (for example) Hornby Dublo.

I think your intended focus would be clearer with a title phrased something like "Seventies/Eighties OO models"  or  "post-Triang era OO models" or some such.

 

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Your post rather makes my point. Triang-Hornby didn't need to address the competition; there was very little competition, full stop. A Wills Star? First stop, Triang chassis.....

 

I confess I also have a hankering for the 1960's standard models. Perhaps, one day, I might succumb. But, don't hold your breath..... 

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On ‎18‎/‎07‎/‎2020 at 13:26, Alex TM said:

...For example, would anyone choose to model British Rail of the late 1970s using only the stock available at the time (e.g. Tri-ang Met-Camm dmu, Hornby classes 25/37/47/HST)?...

On the evidence I have seen, very rare indeed. There's always something more recent that has got in to contaminate the virgin crudipurity of 'only what was available at the time'. To qualify there must be a hermetic seal against any corruption of the time line with items that didn't then exist. POO modelling is a state of mind...

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Posted (edited)

To me, 'old fashioned' means Peco/Wrenn/Gem/Welkut fibre based track, cork granule ballast (if any ballast at all!), H&M Powermaster controller, dyed sawdust scenery, Bilteezi buildings, Seccotine glue, proprietary and whitemetal kitbuilt locos and stock - and probably quite a bit of frustration getting anything to run well.  It was possible but I reckon a lot of people - especially youngsters - readily gave it all up when they discovered 'other things' in life.

Edited by 5050
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18 hours ago, 5050 said:

To me, 'old fashioned' means Peco/Wrenn/Gem/Welkut fibre based track, cork granule ballast (if any ballast at all!), H&M Powermaster controller, dyed sawdust scenery, Bilteezi buildings, Seccotine glue, proprietary and whitemetal kitbuilt locos and stock - and probably quite a bit of frustration getting anything to run well.  It was possible but I reckon a lot of people - especially youngsters - readily gave it all up when they discovered 'other things' in life.


There is no doubt that things go better now . I think the latest nickel silver track (at least I assume that’s what it is) really helps here . I spend much less time cleaning track now than I did in the past , so the track /wheel interface is much improved for whatever reason. If you kept the locos decently lubricated they were reliable enough but I do remember the revelation of getting my black 9f Christmas 1974 , pick up on all driving wheels , she was so smooth .  Modern locos do tend to be smooth runners but not pull the skin off a rice  pudding . That’s why I did away with inclines on my layout . I also did away with curved points that seemed to cause probLems , mainly with a Bachmann Voyager it had to be said . Oh well back to my old H&M Powermaster , actually it’s a Clipper for the outer loop. Damn reliable 
 

 

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On 19/07/2020 at 17:32, 34theletterbetweenB&D said:

virgin crudipurity

Thank you, 34, that has made my day.  Brilliant word!  I suppose the obverse has to puricrudity...

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The gent disappeared from Instagram more than a year ago now, but there used to be someone on there who posted videos often daily of an extensive Wrenn layout. Pretty much everything was Wrenn and it was a well used layout (no shelf queens etc).

 

No idea where he disappeared to, but piqued my interest at the time because it seemed like an interesting choice to lock into one period and manufacturer based on what was likely nostalgia. I have to say it looked really good, and had an appeal for me. I remember my father's heavy Wrenn locos as opposed to the 80s/90s Hornby/Lima etc and they've got character.

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Well the average age of my rolling stock must be somewhere near 40 years old, and I model Br blue.  Yes there are some late 80's Lima in the mix, and one or two more modern items.  i have OLE, so I have a Trix 81, a Triang 81, Bachmann 85, 2x Hornby 86 and a Lima 87, as well as a yellow cab APT.   But the newer items are balanced by things like a Hornby Dublo class 20 painted blue, and three steam locos seen on mainline specials, a Triang Flying Scotsman, a Hornby Dublo Sir Nigel Gresley that could be really old as it might be a conversion from 3 rail, and a Triang Hornby Evening Star.

 

And I am in the process of detailing and painting a Triang DMU in to refurbished white with blue stripe livery - bet no one has done that!

 

All laid on Peco track, and powered by H&M!

 

I just love the smell of Ozone from the sparking of the motors, and the feel of the controllers. It is what I had when I was young and I am a little nostalgic for it!

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7 hours ago, Titan said:

 

And I am in the process of detailing and painting a Triang DMU in to refurbished white with blue stripe livery - bet no one has done that!

 

 

 

Well, not for ~40 years or so. There was an article in a '70s RM on doing exactly that. Well, the repainting bit anyway. Apart from Monty Wells, I'm not sure if anyone was bothering to detail diesels back then ;).

 

12 hours ago, Legend said:


There is no doubt that things go better now . I think the latest nickel silver track (at least I assume that’s what it is) really helps here . I spend much less time cleaning track now than I did in the past , so the track /wheel interface is much improved for whatever reason. If you kept the locos decently lubricated they were reliable enough but I do remember the revelation of getting my black 9f Christmas 1974 , pick up on all driving wheels , she was so smooth .  Modern locos do tend to be smooth runners but not pull the skin off a rice  pudding . That’s why I did away with inclines on my layout . I also did away with curved points that seemed to cause probLems , mainly with a Bachmann Voyager it had to be said . Oh well back to my old H&M Powermaster , actually it’s a Clipper for the outer loop. Damn reliable 
 

 

 

I do wonder if the reduced need to clean track may also be a result of generally cleaner air than hitherto. Back in the early '70s, despite the Clean Air Acts, domestic coal burning was still relatively common, industry was still quite dirty and, although traffic levels were rather lower than today, vehicle emissions of all sorts of nasties were through the roof. It doesn't take much atmospheric contamination to encourage oxidation in bare metal. Not to mention that smoking was far more prevalent than it is now. One of my abiding memories of model railway exhibitions c1980 is the thick pall of smoke from several dozen smouldering pipes, apparently burning old socks dipped in tar.

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