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My Kingdom for a Horse or a Basic Impetus army in 10 says

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My Kingdom for a Horse or a Basic Impetus army in 10 says

Post by Greymouse on Tue May 20, 2014 6:54 pm

This is the translation of a project diary that I  posted in a German wargamingforum 2 years ago.

How to make a Basic Impetus army in 10 days

After some private turbulence which caused me to neglect the hobby for several weeks I decided to make a comeback and do a little project. As I recently got into Impetus and quite liked it, it was obvious to do something for it. Just what should it be? I tinkered around with my crusaders, painted a few Spartans and even did some 40K figures… but no real „drive“ would develop. Then suddenly the postman delivered 2 packs of Perry figures which I had ordered because my friend Christopher got me into a Wars of the Roses Impetus experiment. (Maelstrom obviously had some problems with delivery as the figures were several weeks late but at least everything was here now – the lead figures had arrived weeks earlier) And the there was the thought: A BI army in one week… Well I realized that I would loose at least 2 days because of activities with family and friends and so I thought a BI army in 10 days still sounds good – let’s see if I can handle it

And for documentation purposes I decided to write a diary about the project.

Sunday 2nd of October 21:06 Day 0
Day 0? Indeed! To stand any chance of completing the project in time I use a day 0 which is for preparing the tin and gluing together the plastics and to give at least a few units a basecoat. Furthermore I cut he bases and decided how to arrange the figures upon them.

It always had been clear that I would get the White Rose so the only question remaining was which one exactly. I went for Edward IV because firstly he is a romantic figure as the last warrior king of England and secondly a very good friend of mine lives in Tewkesbury where he crushed the house ofLancaster. That meant it would bet he army with which he returned from his short exile in Burgundy, kicked Henry VII from the throne and set an end to the house of Lancaster at Tewkesbury– or in BI terms: option2 change one unit of longbow men to FP pikes

Assembling was without problems – I really have to praise the minis from Renegade Figures. Very good sculpting, very good castings and almost no flash. When I started base coating the first problems arose. The men at arms went without a problem, Edward himself too but then (the mounted knights and hand gunners were still to be done) Murphy’s Law struck and some nasty paint particle jammed my airbrush gun and wouldn’t unlock again. Nothing to do then put he damn thing into a solvent and wait. Meanwhile it got dark which meant I couldn’t continue the same day. (I’m building round the house and only have an improvised painting place atm which is too small for airbrushing – so I do the airbrush work in the winter garden where I depend on daylight – will change soon though. OK not really a catastrophe – tomorrow everything should work again.

Finally some general parameters:

There should be at least some figures per base – 2 knights and 1 squire don’t make a cavalry unit for me. Horses and foot are to be dipped (otherwise I wouldn’t be able to finish in time) and the knights are painted with my metallic technique for „the battle worn look“(I’ll go into detail when it’s appropriate)

However Dramatis Personae:

The Commanders: 1x Yorkist High Command (Perry’s)

The Cavalry: 1x WOTR Cavalry regiment (Renegade)

Men at Arms: 2x Men at Arms and 1x Yorkist command on foot (Perry’s)

Bow and Bill men: 1x WOTR Plastic Infantry (Perry’s)

Mercenary pikes and Hand gunners: European Infantry 1450 – 1500 (Perry’s)

Greymouse – a painter: moi

There will be remaining a lot of lead and a bit of plastic for upgrading to a full Impetus army later…

At least there are some pictures – I apologize for the quality but I was too lazy to set up a light so the window had to do…

Edward and his knights:


The base is made from Balsawood (like the other ones too) and the knights are deployed in some kind of „interleaved wedge formation“ I think that looks much better than 4 x3 knights in DBx/ FOG because the interleaving of half a horselenght gives a quite massive impression and a wedge looks better than two straight rows.

Ah yes the washers under Edwards horse – what about that? Well the figures from the Twins are a bit smaller than the ones from Renegade not really dramatically but it looks weird when exactly Edward a giant of 1m 93 is half a head shorter than his retainers.

Dismounted men at arms:

Weeell – when the thought came I should make photos I had them already glued on to plugs and base coated – so you’ll have to wait fort he finished result. There will be 12 figures on the base as I thought heavy two handed weapons need a bit of space and the men won’t stand as close as Macedonian phalangites therefore only 6 figures per rank not 8 as in DBx/ FOG.

The first unit of Bill men:


Same as fort he men at arms – 12 figures per base as a halberd needs a bit of space…

Second unit of Bill men:


Here I had to trick a bit. In the WOTR box aren’t enough halberds for 24 men so I converted some pikes from the mercenaries’ box to bills like described in the box. I was a bit sceptic if the bills would be stable as there is not much area fort he glue to bind but the joint proved to be quite strong.

Bowmen the first:


Ok – clearly the Impetus way concerning numbers J But I find Bowmen more attractive when they don’t stand together as tight as shock troops. Beside because of the chequerboard formation it looks like the second row can also see their targets. There will be also bundles of arrows stuck in the ground on the finished base which will also add to a more solid look. By the way the officer issuing commands does a good job covering the space on the side, doesn’t he?

Bowmen the second:


Well basically the same with another officer… For variety reasons I enhanced the dynamics of the picture with some motion blur (well my hands were a bit shaky).

Pike men from Burgundy/ theNetherlands:


Umm – pike men :)Edward had some fighting for him because of his good relationships with Burgundy– especially Flemish ones. There are more figures on the base as bill men – 7 per rank. I had planned 8 per rank at first but there was not really a difference in the optical impression and with seven per rank the commander can be centred in the middle – the joy of uneven numbers…

Last but not least the Hand gunners:


They are from the mercenary box too. 4 figures will do nice for skirmishers I think. This will be the only base where I will do some terrain features. No things like trees and shrines though – I think it looks weird when such things wander around the battlefield although I have to admit that the diorama effect can be quite stunning. I’m thinking more about pieces of high grass, rocks or bumps – things that can be reasonable found anywhere on the battlefield.

Finally an overall picture of the army:


As mentioned before one unit of men at arms has to be added as it’s not on the photo.

I have to say that I’m quite pleased with the price efficiency of this army. Total costs so far are less than 100 Euro and with 2 additional plastic boxes and 3 boxes of lead I can upgrade it to a (a bit elite) 500 point’s army or to a (not so elite) 300 points army. And with another 6 boxes of lead I can do almost all options and the cost fort he upgrade is still under 100 Euro…

Tomorrow the painting will start – countdown running…


Last edited by Greymouse on Tue May 20, 2014 11:35 pm; edited 3 times in total

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Re: My Kingdom for a Horse or a Basic Impetus army in 10 says

Post by Greymouse on Tue May 20, 2014 6:54 pm

Tuesday 4th of October 00:37 Day 1 – 2/ 8 bases
Yeaaaah – 2 bases done (ok almost ) – Ok 1 base are the skirmishers with only 4 figures but on the other had the other base are the men-at-arms and that’s 12 figures and a flag – furthermore the knights base coated – not bad for one day. I didn’t think I would be able to finish the bases today so no photos today will make them tomorrow morning when the sand – glue mix is dry and the static grass is applied.

How did it go? Ups and downs… the skirmishers that I used to „warm up“ were done much faster than I had expected not even the Burgundian Livery I gave them could change that. The came the men-at-arms – hmm somehow I thought that the painting technique was faster but the worst thing was yet to come. I had chosen the figures because of their poses without looking for details. When I did the first metallic layer I realized that not only the guy from the command group had a coat of arms but there also were two additional bushwhackers that still didn’t know that coat of arms were meanwhile a fashion-no-go and wore one over their armour. Coat of arms = free hands – ugh what now? Fortunately I own a book about heraldry which doesn’t only explain the heraldic rules but also tells about the development of heraldry and its symbols. Good luck: To show how heraldry gained complexity in the late middle ages, as one started to combine the colours of the families in case of a marriage were shown colours from – you won’t believe it – the Wars of the Roses. And best thing – because there were lots of pictures to fit on the page so they are very small – about the right size for 28mm figures J – that made things a lot easier as I didn’t have to resize but simply copy the designs on a one on one base.

So I choose 3 colours – one complex fort he command guy and two simpler ones (fitting for those bushwhackers) which were placed into the second row where they wouldn’t get so much notice.

Photos will follow tomorrow when the varnish has dried.

Grey~O°> over and out!


Last edited by Greymouse on Tue May 20, 2014 7:00 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: My Kingdom for a Horse or a Basic Impetus army in 10 says

Post by Greymouse on Tue May 20, 2014 6:54 pm

Tuesday 4th of October 10:51 Day 2 – 2/ 8 bases
Picture proof :p





I wanted to give the impression of deep wet ground. ThoughEnglandis the green and pleasant land she’s also renowned for fog and rain… Of course it had to be quick. On top of the balsawood the ground was formed with cheap air clay. The figures were pushed in and once the clay was dry they were glued into the resulting imprints. Then the well known PVA glue/ sand game followed and before the glue was dry I flooded the base with transparent airbrush colour (really a great thing because it makes highlights and shadows on it’s own) and over the wet mush came a bit of flock. In the morning when the whole thing was dry I added static grass – I used a long one and put it on as untidy as possible to deny the impression of mowed lawn…

That’s it for today – I will have unwelcome guests in the evening so…

Grey~O°> over and out!


Last edited by Greymouse on Tue May 20, 2014 7:03 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: My Kingdom for a Horse or a Basic Impetus army in 10 says

Post by Greymouse on Tue May 20, 2014 6:55 pm

Tuesday 4th of October 16:53
Just came home from the capital of the alpine republic – some quick words how I do metallic’s… I start with a black undercoat. For polished/ silvery armour I start with gunmetal and give it a wash with old GW’s armour wash (I still own a few) alternatively one can use thinned black ink. Not the new GW ones – too soft and matt – one from an artist shop is definitely better. Then comes a medium metallic tone and a technique long thought dead and extinct: dry brushing Razz But I leave more paint on the brush as is common for dry brushing – the brush should still be a bit damp – wetbrushing so to say… Don’t apply to much pressure – there’s much more paint left than you are used to. Finally Mithril silver is applyed the same way. The disadvantage of dry brushing – the irregular and chalky way colour is applyed works out really good here – the armour looks battleworn with scratches and the like. The result depends on the kind of hair the brush has. Less elastic brushes (plastic or pighairs) will give quite a rugged finish (works good with fantasyfigures) while softer brushes (cow or squirrelhair – sable is too expensive for his techique) will give a much neater finish more suitable to historical figures. Finally a wash of thinned black ink is applyed – that makes a good black lining and makes the edges stand out. This simple technique is really versatile by changing the amount of colour, pressure or enhancing the contrast by dismissing the midtone one can create a great variety of armour types – just a bit of practise is necessary.

Dark or blackened armour is done best by dry brushing the metallics directly onto the black basecoat and leaving out the midtone and gives them a good final wash of black ink.

Yeah – the unwanted guest has cancelled his visit due to a nasty cold – Gesundheit! Razz So it’s quite possible that the knights will see some paint – if I can refuse my WoW-addiction…


Last edited by Greymouse on Tue May 20, 2014 7:20 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: My Kingdom for a Horse or a Basic Impetus army in 10 says

Post by Greymouse on Tue May 20, 2014 6:55 pm

Wednesday 5th of October 04:21
Nightly update I got some work done in the afternoon so when I returned from Vienna at 2 am I decided to make a nightshift and finish the base. (I don’t have to get up tomorrow before 9 am) Well everything done except the static grass which will follow tomorrow together with photos. To bed now J

Thursday 6th of October 17:56 Day 4 – 3/8 Bases
All things that have to do with the annoying circumstance that I have to work to get money are done and I was able to put grass on the base) Wasn’t possible before breakfeast because 9 am means no breakfeast except a quick “graphic designer’s breakfeast” (Red Bull and a cigarette). Contrary to the original plan I didn’t dip the horses as I was afraid that the wouldn’t look good with riders painted the „traditional“ way. Well the knights were done pritty much like their dismounted brethren. The figure I used for Edward is Warwickthe Kingmaker according to the perrywebsite but i liked the figure as leader. The turn backwards gives the impression of a quick final speech before the charge – so I choose him for Edward. The noble Lord with the coat of arms should be the unlucky Father of Edward but as he already was in the box of no return at he time I choose for my army (his head ended up on a lancastrian lance before the gates of York) but has the stereoptypical plantagenet haircut I painted him as Edward’s brother George Duke of Clarence. George choose to side withWarwickfirst but obviously family ties are stronger than the lust for power – he reconciled with Edward and switched sides when he returned from his short exile inBurgundy.

So the base I feared most (horses…) is done next will bet he bowmen tomorrow (basecoat is already applyed) when I manage to get them done tomorow (should be possible with dipping) i should be able to hold the schedule. Won’t be much time for painting at the weekend but one base of billmen should be possible and then there are 3 days left fort he last two bases – looks good so far…

Finally King Edward and his men:


The flag ist he one Edward carried atTewkesbury– was about half an hour work in Photoshop. Btw the miniatures look much better in natura than on the photos – promised ;-)

~O°> over and out!


Last edited by Greymouse on Tue May 20, 2014 11:39 pm; edited 3 times in total

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Re: My Kingdom for a Horse or a Basic Impetus army in 10 says

Post by Greymouse on Tue May 20, 2014 6:55 pm

Saturday 8th of October 00:32
Done! Both units of bowmen are finished. Basing will follow tomorrow as the dip is still drying. Tha’s a delay that is not critical – the bases won’t take more than half an hour and that I can „put in between“ without problems. The Billmen that are scheduled fort he weekend are worriing me a lot more. Weeken is really tightly scheduled – ah well somehow it’ll go…

Photos tomorrow when the bases are done and daylight claimed the world once again. I’ll go to bed now – the late night paintingsessions start to claim their toll…

Sunday 9th of october 02:11 Day 6 – 5/ 8 bases
Boah – what a day… people, people and more people. The last one just left… I know it’s past midnight already so technically day 7 already but as everything was done yesterday and i don’t count a new day bevor i went to sleep anyway day 6 :-p

I had half an hour for me today – between three and half past three pm. I used it to finish the bases the quick way. Worked out quite well though there was no time to let anything dry – wet in wet technique – doesn’t look different anyways o.O My brood (aka son) helped me to take a picture and that was all for today (concerning painting)…

Bowmen the first:


Bowmen the second:


Enough for today – hugs, licks and fairiesticks!

Grey~O°> over and out!


Last edited by Greymouse on Tue May 20, 2014 7:37 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: My Kingdom for a Horse or a Basic Impetus army in 10 says

Post by Greymouse on Tue May 20, 2014 6:55 pm

Sunday 9th of october 22:19
Another base done. Ok the base itselve not but the figures are painted and currently drying. Before bed they’ll get dipped so that i can finish the base tomorrow before breakfeast. I had some doubts that i would make it today after yesterdays nonprogress. I also wasn’t able to get up early because I was so overly tired. But sometimes things take a totally unexpected turn. I slept long untill 10 o clock ans started the day the easy way. In the late afternoon i sat down at the painting table and thought what will be will be. And suddenly there was a lot… Additionally our WoW raid was cancelled because the mainheal got ill so i gained additional time for painting and the figures were finished long before midnight. Now I still have the time to let them dry properly and dip them. I’m really tempted to spend some time on research for the next project but reason says i should start painting the pikemen because tommorows schedule is difficult to meet and 14 pikemen are not really a cent (one says so in our aerea meaning something is not easy to accomplish) but on the other hand 9 from 10 voices in my head say I’m a normal guy…

I’m still reasoning if i paint the liveries of the Burgundians in the colours of Burgundy (like I did with the skirmishers) – would be quite obvious but on the other hand the colours of Ghent would also be looking good but I don’t know by heart if Ghent was in rebellion against the burgundian crown once again at that time in which case it would be unlikely that she provided mercenaries. Maybe I can find something on the Interweb without loosing too much time.

Incoming photos tomorrow…

Grey~O°> over and out!

Ps: instead of fairisticks there will be marzipan with chocolate tonight…

Why? – because I can Razz


Last edited by Greymouse on Tue May 20, 2014 11:40 pm; edited 3 times in total

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Re: My Kingdom for a Horse or a Basic Impetus army in 10 says

Post by Greymouse on Tue May 20, 2014 6:56 pm

Monday 10th of october 21:08
Phew what a day – the exact opposite of yesterday. It began when i fell victim to a severe constructionfault of my alarmclock – one can turn off the alarm before ones fully awake and so overslept. Of course there was no time for finishing bases before breakfeast there wasn’t even time for breakfeast! One appointment followed the other and it was not before late afternoon that i was able to finish the base of the billmen. It was well in the evening when I finally was able to get out the pikemen.

For the billmen – the boys were quite easy and quickly to paint mostly because the bigger part of them wore a gambeson or even a platearmour instead of a livery.

(I used the heavier armoured Figures for the billmen and the lessarmoured ones fort he bow as I thought that meleefighters would prefer armour. The dip was applied with a brush and thinned down with turpentine (from the artist shop not the horrible thing from the DIY stores) and one can see that because of that the dip darkens the colours a lot less while still providing strong shadows. Important – the colours must have been drying at least one better two to three hours especially when using plasticfigures – turpentine on plastic is not exactly the best thing since sliced bread…

The ingredients of the flag were as usually the interweb, books about heraldry a scanner and Photoshop.

Now I’ll get back to the pikes and try to paint as much as possible before bed otherwise time could run out because tomorrow I have to drive to Vienna again and Wednesday – well the unwelcome visitor has recovered and thinks to make his visit then…

And here comes the photo:


Tuesday 11th of october 21:46
Short newsflash: The pikes are done. Not much to say about the figures themselve – just dipped. The white parts have been tidied up if on the body the ones on the legs weren’t. NO trouser is white anymore after stalking a few days throught the mud that follows the english rain. I decided to go for the colours of burgundy as there was no time for research about Ghent.

Talking about time – that might be the big problem tomorrow. Thight schedule with appointments and in the evening there will sudddenly be a meeting with open end. If I can get the billmen ready to dip before bed I can dip them tomorrow morning and let them dry. In the break between afternoonapointments and the eveningmeeting. If I don’t get them done before bed my only hope ist hat the meeting will be over quickly or I have to schedule the beginning of the new day from midnight to sunrise.

So – tension up to the end ;-) but soehow I’m not willing to accept that the whole project should fail on half a base.

Picture of the pikes and then off to the painting table:


Grey~O°> over and out!


Last edited by Greymouse on Tue May 20, 2014 7:41 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: My Kingdom for a Horse or a Basic Impetus army in 10 says

Post by Greymouse on Tue May 20, 2014 6:56 pm

Wedneday 12th of october 17:25 day 10 – 8/ 8 bases

Without much talking:


Done – I finally made it Smile

Well at her end a short resumee but how to start? Perhaps some numbers:

Painted figures: 86 (counting mounted as two)

Duration: 10 days

Evenings where I wasn’t able to paint: 3

That’s an average of of 8,6 figures per day or 12,2 figures per paintingsession.

Has it been easy?

No it took some planned approach, the ability to go without much sleep and lots of coffee and energy drinks. It’s also quite helpful to be single or at least have a partner who brings along lots of appreciation. Usually the painting sessions started between 7 and 9 pm and lasted (including necessary breaks) untill 2 to 3 am. Additionally there where some early morning additions between half past six and seven in the morning mostly dipping so that the figures could dry during the daylighthours. (as said getting along without much sleep definitly helps J)

It was important that it was clear when which base would be painted because I knew from the start that  2 evenings were already comitted to family and friends and a third one followed. That meant 1 Base persession not counting the skirmishers and counting the bows as one because of the comaratively few numbers. Additionally basecoating the figures the day before they were schedulred for painting and the base itselve.

On day 0 already I decided which colours I’d use. Irregular patterns such as the trousers in two colours wer done the following way: 1st colour 4 legs (some right some left ones) next colour again 4 legs, 1 or 2 on trousers that had a leg already coloured etc. etc. To make sure the colours would fit together I used brown, white and an earthen colour (ochre or earthen green) – the work together with almost any colour and the rest I choose spontaneous. The figures were painted using the assembly line technique but soon I noticed that from a certain number on the tempo slowed down again because it became boring and annoying painting the same thing again and again. The break even was at about 6 – 8 figures so i painted the bases in 2 – 3 groups. (All armoured guys, all guys with a helmet etc. etc. if nothing better was available all guys in the frontrow and all guys in the backrow ;-) )

It’s also helpful to have the experience which tells you when to enforce your will on the brush and when it’s better to let it have it’s will of it’s own. (My teacher in Artschool always said a good painter knows when to control the brush and when to let it go it’s own way). Small things like flock are best improvised „in between“. Flags are also best done during brakes, the interweb books a scanner, Photoshop and a decent printer definitly are your friends.

Finally some questions:

Was it demanding? - Yes.
Did you ever ask your selve why are you doing this? - Yes
Will you do this again? - I don’t think so but maybe there will be a sequel…
Ever thought to give up? - Not really, no.
Was it fun? Somehow. – It was exhausting and there might be more important things than toy soldiers but none the less on is a bit proud that one made it – yes it definitely was fun
And what’s the thing about a sequel? – Well some day this army is meant to „grow“ into a full scale Impetus army then maybe there will be: How to make an Impetus army in 21 days

You know that kind of book: Teach yourself C++/ Java/ piloting a jet/ seducing a woman in 21 days…

Well if I ever do this I would continue here with day 11 B)

But first I’d have to see how many figures the complete army will have to judge if it’s possible, the figures have to be bought which means the war chest has to be filled again etc. etc. But even Hollywood usually needs at least a year before part two hits the cinemas…

Well that was it – yes. How did Douglas Adams say? So long and thanks for all the fish!

Grey~O°> over and out!


Last edited by Greymouse on Tue May 20, 2014 7:42 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: My Kingdom for a Horse or a Basic Impetus army in 10 says

Post by GamesPoet on Fri May 08, 2015 11:51 pm

Good to see and read.

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Re: My Kingdom for a Horse or a Basic Impetus army in 10 says

Post by Greymouse on Sat May 09, 2015 6:38 am

Thank you Smile

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Re: My Kingdom for a Horse or a Basic Impetus army in 10 says

Post by jeztodd on Mon May 11, 2015 8:03 pm

Enjoyed the post and the figures look great.

Not yet tried painting the Perry plastics yet.

Cheers Jez
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Re: My Kingdom for a Horse or a Basic Impetus army in 10 says

Post by Greymouse on Mon May 11, 2015 8:33 pm

Thankies Smile

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Re: My Kingdom for a Horse or a Basic Impetus army in 10 says

Post by GamesPoet on Mon May 11, 2015 9:09 pm

jeztodd wrote:Not yet tried painting the Perry plastics yet.

I've found the Perry plastics easy to paint, although have only painted their Wars of the Roses and European Mercenaries sets up to this post.

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Re: My Kingdom for a Horse or a Basic Impetus army in 10 says

Post by Greymouse on Tue May 12, 2015 5:22 am

I have painted their WOTR and European Mercenary sets, their ACW Sets and their Desert Rats set.
They all painted up well and look great - I'm a fan...

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Re: My Kingdom for a Horse or a Basic Impetus army in 10 says

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