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Kalisz 1706 at Salute 2017 – Battleboards and the Swedes, Tanks and Mutant 1984

Long weekend of Rugby with the annual ‘long distance’ tournament with the Little Ones – this year held in Bournemouth.  The Little One had a blast and made us proud as always. A weekend in Dorset is never wrong and we had to sneak into the Tank Museum in Bovington for a quick look.  We did not do much hobby related this week, so in no particular order a few shots of the (a) Kalisz Battle boards for Salute and some Swedes, (b) some pictures from the Tank Museum and (c) some progress on the Mutant 1984 project.

Kalisz Battle boards and Swedes

I got the 2″ by 2″ boards out this weekend. They have been in the attic since the table was laid out at Joy of Six in 2014 – some warping evident and a damaged bridge but not beyond unacceptable and the bridge can be fixed.  Now I have to find the buildings for the two villages and Kalisz itself – I wonder where they are?

I also got the Swedish (few) elements out and realized that I need to do some flags for the infantry – it seems like we ran the game last time without infantry standards (Perhaps that was the reason the Swedes lost?).

 

Bovington Tank Museum

We went to the Tank Museum in Saumur last year and loved it (see blog entry here), the one in Bovington is equally impressive if not better.  From the perspective of telling history and putting the tank into a perspective the Bovington experience is brilliant.  Here are a few pictures of what we found particularly interesting.  Go there if you can (link here).  T(h)ank you Bovington – we had a great day!

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Mutant 1984 – Ulvriket Patrol – Work in Progress

Work in progress on the next unit for this little diversion. This is the Ulvriket Patrol with some further detailing and basing remaining but a small step forward.  As discussed in the previous blog entry (see here) basically WW2 Americans in Greatcoat and a WW2 German Officer. I used a Russian WW2 Vehicle Green for the Coats and Khaki for details and helmets. Looks familiar but odd.

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The infantry unit based on Artizan Design Americans and a German Officer.

 

Then the mutated element with conversions (I will give further details for what I used in the blog update for these when they are finalized).

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The Mutants – A gorilla (Crooked Dice head swap), the wingman (do not remember where the wings are from), the pig (again from Crooked Dice) and the Goat (head and leg swap  with a Moonraker miniature).

 

/ All the very best

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“A prayer’s as good as a bayonet on a day like this” – Colonial 6mm, Welsh Wizardry, Car wrecks and Focus in Combat

col2A few things to write about this week, so I better get on with it…

The Men who would be Kings in 6mm

I have to admit that I like the format of the little blue Osprey Wargame booklets (link here).  Not all of them have suited my palate in terms of period or type of rules. However, I have bought a fair few of them to date and found most of them interesting and worth a go. One of the earliest I really liked was the Dux Bellorum rules (Arthurian stuff) by Daniel Mersey.  I fondly remember trying to figure out the rules one evening after sunset on the Island of Rhodes using some  flats I had printed out before the trip.  I have since used it to play some games using my Dark Age stuff I did for Saga, which in technically terms in not from the Arthurian period – but none involved seemed to suffer!.

However, this posting is not about Dux Bellorum, but instead relates to another of Daniel’s sets (also published by Osprey) that I want to give a try, namely the Men Who Would be Kings rules. This is a large skirmish rule set derived from his very successful Lion Rampant rules. As implied by the title it is a colonial period rule set.

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I have to admit to some, well actually a lot of, 6mm Baccus colonial stuff (link here) on my lead pile that I “will get to one day!”.  I have also promised to have a go at trying out “A Steady and Deliberate Rate of Fire” (yet to be published) that seem to be another great set of rules, by Peter Riley who did the Polemos Franco-Prussian war (link here) and the American Civil War rules (link here) . I seem to be a lead mountain away from testing the rules, unless I use some flats but that is more a last resort issue. Sorry Peter, I will get there one day!

What my experience with Sharp Practice has taught me is that it is possible to do skirmish in 6mm that works (see more on this here).  With some emphasis on the terrain and playing the game seated instead of standing the immersion is on par with other bigger scales. Further it only requires 40% of the foot print (doing it in centimeters instead of inches) of your normal table.  If you pick a range that is well served and have models that are possible to single base easily (like those of Baccus, Rapier and Adler) you can do a good job of it.

I thought I would do a simple set of two forces to try the rules out – I wanted to do some British and Zulus to start with.  I find this conflict being one of the most interesting in combination of not needing to buy any new miniatures.  Miniatures I have been using are Baccus 6mm form their colonials range and I have been using the 1,2,3 basing method as described by Michael Leck, on his eminent Dalauppror blog, here. By using a combination of 9mm (for leaders),12mm (for singles), 15mm and 20mm bases for infantry and 15mm,  and 20mm for cavalry (I did actually a 1,2 basing for these). This is, I think, a very clever way of basing miniatures for large skirmish rules that removes individual miniatures (e.g. Sharp Practice), especially for 6mm that can be a little bit fiddly with small bases.  I suppose you just have to make sure you base each unit so that all combinations of models left can be done.

So far I have finished the little British force consisting of 4 units of regular infantry (12 in each unit) and 2 units of regular cavalry (Lanciers, with 8 in each unit).  I am very pleased with the way they look and the little space this force takes. I will add a few more unit and some artillery later, but this is enough to get started.

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The Zulus are quick to paint and I have to brush up (sorry for the pun) on my Zulu shield knowledge before I can complete them. There is some variation based on marital status and experience (age) if I recall things correctly.  I am nearly there though.

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A Welsh Wizard’s tome

I bought the War of 1812 supplement for Sharp Practice penned by Mike Hobbs last week. You might be familiar with Mike if you listen to the Meeples and Miniatures podcast.  I am not that familiar with the period but having read it on a train last week I am now resisting getting some miniatures to have a go.  There is a thread on what miniatures to use for this in 6mm if you are interested here.  I really enjoyed reading it and if you are interested in the period than this is a very good things to get started with even if you do not play Sharp Practice. I actually may end up using the scenarios for my French Indian War battles with a few modifications.  The fact that Mike is very enthusiastic about both the Sharp Practice rules  in general but more importantly about the period itself shines through and puts that sparkle of magic on top of it all.

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The book contain a listing of the opposing forces and a very good campaign write up  for the 41st foot regiment, and seven scenarios.  Most of the scenarios are based on the memoirs of Private Shadrach Byfield [A Narrative of a Light Company Soldier’s Service in the Forty-First Regiment of Foot (1807-1814)] and, in my view, offer a wide range of challenges.

Further it introduces a few specific unit characteristics for the War. My favourite is the War Cry that allow an Native Indian unit to instill fear (technically Shock) in another unit.  The army lists for both sides covers standard infantry forces, royal marines, militia, scouting forces and native forces (and some cavalry for the Americans).  It looks comprehensive enough to me. There is also an overview of the war and two Appendices cover the two armies of the war.

You buy and download the PDF from Too Fat Lardies here.

Terminator Car Wrecks

We needed some more terrain to provide some additional cover for the Terminator games so.  This give some additional cover to give the resistance a better chance of winning against the machines.

I and the Little One got some close enough to 28mm scale cars from a charity shop for 20 pence each and stuck them on bases and added some debris on the side (cut up matches, toothpicks, some plastic from a DVD cover and added some various sized stones and mixed it with PVA glue) and, after they were dried, spray painted them grey. Painting left to do, but will do a very good job in breaking up the field of battle.

Focus in Battle

On a funnier note (and repeated from the Roll a One Facebook page) I came home from work one day finding some particular modifications having been done to the Little Ones Nerf gun glasses.

“Why have you stuck pieces of paper on your glasses?”, I asked the Little One.

“They are tactical information screens, it gives me the ability to focus in battle. Got that Private?”

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A sleeping hero

The title of this posting – “A prayer’s as good as a bayonet on a day like this” is said by Colour Sergeant Bourne in the movie Zulu (link here). Colour Sergeant (Frank Edward) Bourne was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal (CDM) after the Battle at Rourke’s Drift and was, at the time, the youngest soldier in the British Army who had achieved the rank of Colour Sergeant.  He ended his career as a Lieutenant Colonel and was awarded an OBE. As I read up about him I found out that he was buried not far from where I live.  I think I will take the Little One and have a look for it after Rugby next Sunday.  Although he was only 5’6″ tall he was certainly, in every sense of the word, a big man.

/ All the very best, next time I will go through the forces who will be fighting the Kalisz battle at Salute in April this year.

Remembrance Day, Chislehurst Caves and some more 6mm Great Northern War Norwegians

The last few years we have spent Remembrance Sunday at our local Rugby club where the Little One plays.  This Sunday was joint practice with the other local, and rival, club.  But local rivalries were set aside and the children had a very good training session and what made my day was them standing shoulder to shoulder in remembrance!  Rugby is a beautiful sport on and off the field and this day was a very strong manifestation supporting this.

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“They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.” 

-From the Ode of Remembrance by Laurence Binyon

We, I and the other Ones, also had some time to re-visit Chislehurst caves, on Saturday, that played a key role during WW2 as an air raid shelter and at its peak it had in excess of 15,000 people staying here over night.  Interesting place and this is as close to Dungeons and Dragons you get but with no encounters – incidentally there is a live action roleplaying company running some stuff next door if that is your cup or tea – or perhaps pint of mead (they are called Labyrinthe, and here is a link. I think you have to pre-book).  The caves are actually hand dug chalk and flint mines and have since been used to store explosives,  grow mushrooms, host pop and rock concerts and as a backdrop for some movies and television series like Doctor Who.  As with all of these kind of places there are stories of ghosts and mysterious events in the tunnels – it is worth a visit!

Norwegian GNW Infantry

I finalized some more Norwegians from the Great Northern War era – this time some infantry.  Please see my previous post (last week here) for flag sheets, etc. I have decided to put this diversion on hold for a while and crack on with the main GNW project – but here are the bases I did get on with.

Trondhjemske – this regiment was over 2000 men strong so I made it 4 bases. The nice company colours really stands out and make the unit look really good. The white flag represents the Colonels (the head of the regiment) battalion.

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Gyldenløves Geworbne – this regiment was 2 battalions strong so I made it 2 bases.

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Hausmanns Geworbne – same as above. Colours of the flags are speculative (I made it up!).

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/ Have a good week

 

 

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Battle of Hastings – Wargaming in 1800mm

I had some plans to use some of my miniatures to put up a little refight of Hastings this weekend but failed miserably.  However instead we spent Friday watching the docudrama 1066 and then Saturday in Battle watching the re-enactment of the Battle of Hastings that took place 950 years ago.  It was a fantastic spectacle put on by English Heritage and I hope that these pictures gives some kind of justice to the proceedings. So without any further ado, here we go.  / Back with some miniatures stuff next week.

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The Little One trying out some Norman equipment!
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We visited both camps and, as always, with re-enactors it is not just about having the right sword and helmet but a much wider and deeper experience.  I think I get it. The level of detail and care in the presentation of these camps were fantastic and, I dare to say, as impressive as the later Battle in presenting a close to genuine experience from a far-gone time.
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There were also presentations of the various arms used in the Battle.  Here a victorious Anglo-Saxon with the feared Dane Axe.  We were also introduced to spears, swords, cavalry as well as the impressive shield wall.
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Setting up the Anglo-Saxon shield wall. Getting ready to fight the real deal.

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William with Harold’s Standard at the end of the Battle. Game over, I suppose!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FIW – Sharp Practice in 6mm – Part 6 Inspiration and Some Progress

Braddock’s Defeat

I just finished listening to Braddock’s Defeat on Audible and ended up buying the physical book as well from Amazon as a reference copy.  This is an amazing piece of work by David Preston and I have not had so much enjoyment (reading a book on Military History) since I read Oskar Sjöström’s Fraustadt 1706: ett fält färgat rött.  The Fraustadt book unfortunately, as is the case for a lot of Great Northern War literature, is not available in English. But I digress…

If you are familiar with the French Indian War period of history you will have heard about the British General Braddock leading a expeditionary force, in 1755, through Pennsylvania to attack the French Fort Duquesne on the forks of the Ohio River. A smaller French Canadian force, led by the French Captain Beaujeu and supported by native Indian Tribes, had decided to seek battle before the British arrived to the fort and encountered and attacked the British at Monongahela (about 10 miles from what is now Pittsburgh).  It was the French Canadian resolve and ability to quickly get organised and use the terrain efficiently in applying woodland tactics that won the day.

“Historians have generally ignored French and Native perspectives on the 1755 campaign. The French were outnumbered, outgunned, and faced crippling supply problems in their Ohio Valley posts. They despaired of their inability to halt or slow Braddock’s relentless march. However, convoys of French reinforcements led by a veteran officer, Captain Beaujeu, came to Fort Duquesne after an epic 700-mile voyage from Montreal, arriving only a few days before the fateful battle at the Monongahela.  …..

A newly discovered French account from the Archives du Calvados transforms our understanding of French and Native American leadership and tactics at the Battle of the Monongahela. The French commander, Captain Beaujeu, sent out Native scouts who brought him exact intelligence on the location and disposition of the British. Dividing his force into three parallel columns, Beaujeu organized a frontal attack on the British column with his Canadian troops. He instructed the Indians to spread out in the woods on the right and the left, and to withhold their fire until he had engaged the British. The Monongahela was neither a meeting engagement nor an ambush, but a well-planned and executed French and Indian attack on a vulnerable British column. “

Ten questions about Braddock’s Defeat by David L. Preston, accessible here.

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Painting showing a contingent of French and Indians attacking General Braddock, in the background, who is falling from his horse being assisted by Major George Washington, the future first president of the United States of America – one of many key characters of the American revolution that were involved in this expedition. (Painted by Edwin W. Deming, the painting forms part of the Wisconsin Historicial Society’s collection)

I really enjoy the story telling aspect of real history and to paraphrase Dan Carlin, “it has destroyed fiction for me” (go and listen to one of his Hardcore History Shows if you have not done so yet!, here is a link).  However being factual, intellectual and educational does not need to be boring and can instead be truly inspirational and that is this book in a nutshell.  If you have any interest in the period, or military history in general, I suggest you get hold of this one.

I think a lot can be done with the skirmish rules I have (i.e. Sharp Practice, Musket and Tomahawks and  Songs of Drums and Tomahawks) but for the “larger” battles I am not sure what good rulesets are there that captures the flavour of not just the period but in the particular way the war was fought in this theatre. But then this was only a small diversion!

Crystal Palace and that very famous Battle

I was intending to spend the day at SELWG (South East London Wargames Group) show in Crystal Palace today, but the little one had his first rugby festival for the season and luckily, because I would be a really sad bastard otherwise, I actually prefer to see him play rather than going to a wargames show.  As it is very close to where we live we ended up going for the last 45 minutes on our way home – but the last part of a wargames show is very often like drinking a pint of lager that was poured two hours ago.  I did not take any pictures of the tables on offer, but there seemed to be a good collection – a nice ancient game with loads of pikes and a Doctor Who game caught my eye.  Next weekend (on both Saturday and Sunday) is the big event at Battle with the 950th Anniversary re-enactment of the Battle of Hastings. We are looking forward to this.

Supporting Cast, Real Estate and Markers

I decided to spend the little time I had available for diversions this week finalising as much of the painting as I could for the initial Sharp Practice stuff – so I and the little one could play a proper game in a not too distant future.  This, instead of getting diverted spending hours gluing small strips of spaghetti like last week (see my last blog entry here) I actually managed to get some of the more immediate and necessary stuff completed.

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My temporary “Out of ammunition markers” using crates from Perfectsix – I did a few more. “Resthouse” by Leven Miniatures. The bases are 9mm in diameter.
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Ammo markers for artillery (again made from PerfectSix materials).
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Mule Train from Baccus
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Barricades based on various items from PerfectSix
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As above but from a different angle
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Breastworks based on some old Irregular stuff I had lying around. Painted up really well!
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As above but from a different angle
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Holymen and Doctors for both sides – Pere Bleu, Docteur Bleu, Doctor Red and Father Red.
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Carts – Engineering, Water and Ammunition Carts

I was thinking about a scenario with the characters from a famous movie set during the French Indian War – and did the three little chaps below.  / Until next

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FIW – Sharp Practice in 6mm – Part 3

My mother was taken ill this week so I found myself spending the latter part of my week in Sweden. Luckily all went as well as possible given the circumstances and there are certainly worse places than Sweden to be in during September. I try to go and visit Rommehed when I am in my hometown. Rommehed was once the training ground of the Dal regiment that existed between 1621 to 2000.  During the Great Northern War the regiment was involved in many of the famous battles, including the victories at Narva (1700), Düna (1701), Klissow (1702), Holowczyn (1708), Malatitze (1708) and Gadebusch (1712).  In our Towards Moscow Trilogy (TMT) the Dal regiment will be present at our Gorki/Horki “what if battle” as well as the disastrous battle at Poltava (1709). Today the site is one of two sites of the dal regiments museum and is occasionally open during the Summer Months (not when I visited this time) and there is also a very brave stone soldier guarding the premises.

Therefore no major progress on any of my diversions and this is therefore a short update.

Spaghetti Fences

In a recent Meeples and Miniatures podcast the hosts discussed the mileage in doing Snake rail fencing in spaghetti. I used spaghetti for the bridges I did for my Saga in 6mm project.  Armed with a little bit of very thin spaghetti – capellini (no. 2) and some superglue – I made a small section.  I will show the build process in some more detail when I do the “real” fences later. I am very pleased with the result.

Support List Options

In addition I managed to get most of the markers and support options for Sharp Practice “modelled” by pimping some Baccus and Perfect Six carts (water, ammunition and engineering) and Perfect Six barricades. I also made some markers for artillery ammunition and out of ammo markers  (illogically represented by an ammunition crate) 0 these, again, are from Perfect Six. I have included some pictures in the slide show below. I hope to be able to show them painted in a not too distant future.

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/ All the best and be careful out there

Lesnaya Part 4 – but mostly other stuff

Yet another week in a sunny, and this time also rainy and windy, France.  I thought I bang the drum for three of the places I visited with the family that may be of some interest.

Château de Talmont, Talmont St Hilaire, Vendée

Nicely situated on a rock that once was surrounded by a lake and the river Le Payre.  The Castle was originally built on the orders of William the Great, Duke of Aquitaine.  William actually was not that Great and lost a lot of his lands to Vikings and other french nobles. I am not that convinced we will see him as a warlord in future Saga supplements!  However from 1152, the Duchy of Aquitaine was held by the Plantagenets, who also ruled England as independent monarchs.  Richard I Lionheart (or Richard Coeur de Lion as they call him in France) is the most famous of the rulers of Talmont and he did a lot of alterations to the castle. The castle have taken some damage over the years but is well worth a visit and depending on the day some activities to keep the family entertained including some periodic games and falconry. You can read more here.

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Talmont Castle

 

Le Mont-Saint-Michel, Pontorson – Le Mont-Saint-Michel, Normandy

I have spent a lot of time in Normandy over the last few years going to the various WW2 sites (Pegasus bridge, the D-day beaches, Sainte-Mère-Église and seen the famous Church and visited the airborne museum to mention a few) and they are all amazing but there is a lot of older history that is also worth checking out.  It seems like it is directly from a Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying (WFRP) module. When I was standing on some of the viewing platforms on the top, with the wind blowing in whatever hair I have left, it did not take a lot of imaginary effort to feel like I was standing somewhere on the top of Minas Tirith in Middle-Earth viewing the hoards of orcs..sorry tourists approaching.  This island have been used since the 8th century as a centre for religious worship, defensive position and even as a prison.  Rich with history and to slowly walk along the small streets and passage ways up to the top and a visit the cathedral and the prison is a immersive experience that is not to be missed if you are in the region. There is a nice video showing off this amazing place here.

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Le Mont-Saint-Michel

 

Le Musée des Blindés, Saumur, Manche

This is a fantastic tank museum that, I personally, think is as good as the Bovington museum in the UK for us WW2 enthusiasts.  It is even better if you are into cold war stuff I have been told by reliable sources.  Here is a link to a video on YouTube showing a lot of the tanks and here is the official link to the museum itself.  I bought myself some German Tank Paints by MIG and I tried out the dunkelgrau on some early German Zvezda tanks I found in a shop in Cherbourg.  It seemed to work well.

What about the Lesnaya stuff?

As far as the Lesnaya project is concerned I had a little break from it last week. I did catch up with Nick Dorrell about it and we are good to go with the overall Towards Moscow Trilogy project I discussed in an earlier Blog.  It is very likely that, after Lesnaya, we will do a what-if-scenario where the Swedish army attacks the Russian Position at Gorki 1708 instead of Holowczyn, but more on that later.

Having started to paint the Finnish tanks for my Finnish Chain of Command project I got inspired to order some more stuff and when I came home a nice parcel was waiting with some Battlefront products including some finnish (Sissi) ski troops, a command group (to get an anti-tank rifle unit), and some Panzershreck and Panzerfaust teams (they were used by the finns but at the very end of the war). In addition some more vehicles including a BA-10 armoured car (from Zvezda), a BT-42 assault gun, a Vickers 6-ton tank and a Landsverk AA-tank.  In that nice model shop in Cherbourg I also bought a T-60 and a KV-1 again from Zvezda.  Yes the purist will say that the one T-60 known to have been captured by the Finns never was used in action – but I could not resist!

/ All the best

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