Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Winter Cabin - Let it snow, let it snow...and a little ice too!


Firstly, I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year!! :o)))))

I’ve not had broadband for over a week, even now I have no idea if the problem has been resolved, I just have to wait and see. We’ve had lots of flooding in my area and although I’m on high ground it doesn’t stop the lower areas from flooding. The BT engineer has been booked to come out next Tuesday to look at my landline…but as I have managed to get access today, I am ever hopeful access is here to stay!   :oP 

I have been busy with my Winter cabin though! I have to thank an immensely helpful person, I won’t name her but she has been invaluable with obtaining ideas and tutorials on snow and ice effects. :o) Thank you heaps, I owe you! :o) There are 3 peeps at least who have devised the below methods/ideas.  However, I have played with all the methods and techniques to suit my needs etc.

The photo's aren't great, what with poor light and the camera not picking up the true colour of my little cabin...not good overall! The snow looks a little odd in colour too on the windows, again shadows galore and the snow is white and no other colour! lol 
I knew I wanted the realistic snow method I could find, I also wanted a thickly covered roof (with snow) and layers of snow showing. I Googled images of roofs etc to get an idea what snow looks like, I had no idea that snow really is a wonderful and amazing thing…the things it can do! Lol :o)

Firstly, I needed something that would give me the depth of snow, without using the actual snow product etc. I used polystyrene, it was the perfect depth and it was light. In the UK you cannot buy the type of foam that can be sculpted, I believe it’s used as some kind of insulation in lofts which I’ve never seen to buy overhere. If you can buy it, I’d use that, polystyrene is not the best out of the two, it’s the messiest to carve! 

I glued on my polystyrene with PVA (white glue). Once dried I shaped the ends off at an angle. If you look at heavy snow on a roof, you will know what I mean. I also applied a thick layer of PVA over the whole roof, this was to give a hardened surface and also give my snow application something to adhere to. You can sand any real lumpy bits off the roof at this stage too.  
I have never done a snow look before, so I had no idea what to use or what would give me the most realistic look. I also wanted icicles and maybe ice, a real challenge I set myself up for! 

A very good person stepped in with some great ideas on how to create your own snow and ice etc! I explored all the options, ideas and methods. :o) When I experiment, I always start off with the idea and method I am most likely to think will give me the best look. 

Firstly, I made my icicles.  The original artisans who made these don’t work in 1/12th scale. They suggested using old blister packs for the main shape/form, of the icicle. For 1/12th scale, there wouldn’t be enough plastic etc,  the acetate I had (what is used for window panes) was either too thick or thin. Over the years of doing mini’s I have learnt to keep certain would-be waste items, I happened to have some plastic door packaging that I used instead, and it was the perfect thickness. :o)) 

Here is one of the icicle references, cool miniornot

 Lots of icicles! 
 Now I glued them onto a lolly stick, so I could easily apply my glue.
I cut my basic icicle shape, I did a few different sizes and I glued them to a lolly stick with PVA and left to dry. For my ice look I used 5 minute epoxy glue resin. It  must be the 5 minute one, otherwise you will be waiting over 24 hours for it to dry and set! You could use Solid Water (it’s a resin too) too, again this takes a long time to dry and set.  You need to squeeze out equal parts of resin and hardener and mix together (I used a cocktail stick). I advise that you do not have anymore to work with than I show below, you only have 5 minutes to apply your glue and anymore won‘t be usable in that time frame. Again I used a cocktail stick to apply the glue to my icicle, depending on the size of the icicle I worked on about 2 or 3 at a time, making sure the glue was both sides of the plastic.  Once I did a row I left to dry for over an hour to set, most icicles needed more than one coat of glue. Do not apply another coat until the glue feels non tacky, depending on the thickness of the glue you may need to leave longer to dry before applying another coat of glue. 
The above shows the amount of glue I used at any one time for my little icicles   
Apply your glue with your icicles this way up, so that the glue runs to the bottom easier, you will need a cocktail stick to move the glue to where you want it. 
 After a couple of coats of glue...
Almost finished with one row.
Snap off the icicles from your lolly stick.
Seeing how it will look and also thinking the best way to glue them to my roof!
 Experimenting with both snow and icicles here.

I know some peeps worry about resin going yellow, I'm not sure it always does. Solid Water is resin based as is this glue. However, the icicles are easily removed, thus replaced, but I won't have to worry about it for a few years yet if it does happen! Again, with the snow...as far as I know it has a long longevity, again this could all be removed and replaced...for a new look if you so wish too. After all, no two snow falls are the same! lol

Once I made all my icicles I made I was ready to play with snow methods! 

***Before you start making your snow, you must have very clean hands (I washed mine after each segment and cleaned my work table) and work surface. This is because you need your hands to press the snow down etc., therefore any dirt etc., will immediately be absorbed into your snow and it won't be clean etc.**

I was going to use a base layer of Art Mache and then apply a layer of snow over the top. Art Mache dries white, but not that bluey ice white. Paperclay dries a warmish cream. I hasten to add, that you could of course paint both of these mediums for snow, for me personally they are the wrong texture for snow, so in the end I didn’t use an Art Mache base for my snow. 
 Ingredients to make your own snow...not spangly looking snow...

One blog of reference... Orsis Mini's
For spangly snow.
 Ready to go...nearly!
The first corner...I started at the back, just incase it was a horrid mess! lol
Before I glued on my polystyrene, I experimented with a homemade snow product, using Bicarbonate of Soda and PVA glue. I wanted my snow to glisten (like real snow), so I added a smidgen of ultra fine iridescent glitter to my mix. Less is more in my book, I was not seeking a overally spangly looking snow look, my cabin is not a Christmas decoration! lol I did experiment with using this snow mix over my Art Mache to see what it looked like and whether it would adhere to the surface, it did. I also experimented with using the snow mixture straight onto the polystyrene and also straight onto my wood roof (before I glued the polystyrene on). I cannot give you amounts of how much of Bicarbonate of Soda, glitter and PVA to use, you will have to experiment yourself and see what look you like and what works for you. What I can say however, obviously the more glue you add the runnier your snow will be and the harder it will be to manage and sculpt! :o))    
The back of the cabin complete, I am far happier with the back than I am the front...the bit that shows the most...tis always the way with me! 
I covered my roof in segments, I found it easier to do this because I wanted to pay particular attention to the edges of the roof and the detailing of etc.  I used an artist’s pallet knife to apply my snow mixture and a modelling tool for the detailing. I worked on as much of the roof as I could at any one time because it made it easier to shape, merge and blend the edges etc., as one. Once left overnight, it dries rock hard. I added some of my icicles as I applied the roof. I added a little PVA to the end of my icicle and gently glued under my roof beams.
Adding icicles as I go...
 For a non runny snow look or a shovelled snow look... 
 Adding the last segment of snow to my roof... 
Still lots of work to do yet...
 Adding ice and wind swept snow look...
Experimenting with foot prints in the snow. This look was far too contrived for me, but the idea did work. I also added an ice layer over the top that worked too. :o)    
More snow...
I love this snow effect, not only is it the correct colour and consistency but it is also opaque like real snow. It also feels like real snow when made up, the only difference between this and the real thing is that is doesn’t melt in your hand! Lol

I’ve added some of the other snow effects to my cabin too. Again, I built the snow layers up to achieve my desired look. Some areas I simply applied some PVA to my cabin and sprinkled the dry powder mix (no PVA added) over the glue and left to dry and then brushed off the excess. My snow is still very much WIP and is not finished. :o) 
Footprints in the snow...
I still need to work on the outside...one side has no snow yet!
I have also cut my curtain poles, my Mum is making the little curtains as we speak. They will be put up next!
I have also fitted the hanging light, I need to buy the bedside light now. :o)


 The curtains so far. They need to be glued so they hang in a more to scale way. 
They won't be hung like this, nor look like this! lol I may add a frilly pelmet too.


For now...Happy New Year to you all!!! 

A big warm welcome to my new followers….I hope you don’t mind my ramblings and madness! :o))

Michelle xxxx   

60 comments:

  1. Love the whole effect Michelle. Really looks like Snow..

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    1. So glad you like it Debbie, it took a while to do. :o))

      Michelle xxx

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  2. Happy New Year, Michelle! And thank you for sharing the very comprehensive snow making process. It is very convincing!

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    1. Hi Sans,

      I'm pleased you liked it! I don't think I've covered it all, but I hope there is enough to give some guidance. ;o)

      Michelle xx

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  3. Wonderful work Michelle as always! The snow looks perfect and the iceicles have turned out really well. At gcse art and then when I was doing some costume for a show at college I was using a tech Kate of running hot glue from a glue gun and letting it set and thos eloped like iceicles too.. Just reminded me of it :) that brought back a little memory for me! :)

    Can't wait to see what you do with it next.. What a wonderful little project!! :D those snow effects will be perfect for your hogsmeade projects too!! :)

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    1. Hi Michael,

      I've heard of the glue gun method, but not seen it in practice, so I can't compare between the two. Not sure I'd try it on the tiny sized icicles...the glue is really hot! I guess I don't live that dangerously. :o/

      Michelle

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  4. Stunning awesome work, Michelle, I have no words (English also is not my mother tongue, I am sorry)!
    I thank you for the links you gave, I'll go and visit.
    I wish your family and you a Happy New Year!! A lot of creativity too ;)!
    Greetings, Ilona

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    1. Hi Ilona,

      Believe me your English is just fine!! :o) Glad that you like the little snowy cabin, it's changed a little since the photo's were taken. :o)) I will be starting on a new project soon. :o))

      Michelle xx

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  5. Wonderful work Michelle, the snow really does look authentic, A happy and prosperous 2013 to you and your family. Tony

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    1. Hi Tony,

      Thank you!! :o)))

      I really wanted the most realistic look that I could find. Seeing I'd never done a snow look before, I was really pleased with this little cabin overall.

      Michelle :o)

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  6. You've certainly put a lot of work into your snow effect and it shows - these icicles are brilliant and I love the "slipped" snow effect you have achieved on the roof. A brilliant post with lots of great pictures.

    Happy New Year!

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    1. Hi Irene,

      So pleased you like it, I've really enjoyed this tiny project and the snow was fun to do. I had several experiments to see what looked best and went from there after that.

      My broadband connection is still pants, not as bad as it was, but nowhere is it good! :o( I I will reply to all the other comments as and when I can. Answering via my phone is not easy, so I will wait until I can access via my laptop. ;o)

      Michelle xx

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  7. Thanks for the tutorial - your snow and icicles look great! Your photos are great too. Happy New Year from Oklahoma.

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    1. Hi Troy,

      Thank you, and glad that my little tutorial is of some use. It was a lot of fun to do! :o))

      Michelle :o)

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  8. Hi Michelle, I'm a newbie here but I love your cabin design, it makes me want to crack out the fake snow - it looks so fun.

    Happy New Year to you, looking forward to your future posts!

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    1. Hello there!

      Well, I'm glad you like the cabin and snow. You should have a go! :o))

      I haven't done any mini work for sometime, due to a job/house move. Hopefully, I will be back with it by the Summer. :o)))

      Michelle :o)

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  9. What a fantastic snow scene, I love the icicles and shudder at how messy it must have been doing the creating!

    Here's to a wonderful New Year. :-)

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    1. Hello Christine,

      Thank you! :o)) The icicles weren't messy to do, but the snow was tricky! lol

      By the Summer, I may have something to show on here! ;o)

      Michelle :o)

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  10. Truelly amazing, that snow and icicles are so realistic looking. I absolutely adore it.
    Best wishes for 2013!

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    1. Hello Peggy,

      Thank you for your kind words. :o)) There will be an update on this project, but probably nearer Christmas now. I hope to get to my hobby by the Summer. :o)

      Michelle :o))

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  11. Thanks for sharing the step by step of your cottage! It is amazing!

    I wish for you and all your loved ones a wonderful New Year too!

    Hugs

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    1. Hello Eliana,

      You're welcome and glad that you like it. :o))

      I hope the new year has been good for you so far!

      Hugs,
      Michelle ;o)

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  12. Great work, Michelle!!! Your icicles are perfect!! And the snow look realistic!
    Such a beautiful project, I love it :-)

    Happy new Year!

    Hugs,
    Karin

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    1. Thank you Karin, :o))

      The icicles were fun and easier than I thought. The snow isn't bad, it took a few tweaks to get the right consistency. I am pleased with the overall look. The little cabin is packed away now, ready to be moved. :o)

      I will continue with this later in the year. I will be having an additional kit to go with it. It's rather unusual...anyone who has read the book or knows the story might be able to guess!

      Hugs,
      Michelle :o)

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  13. The snow and icicles look so realistic...makes me feel cold actually =0) Thanks for the tips and Happy New Year!

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    1. Hello Pepper,

      It did feel mighty wintery when I was working on this, really apt as it was Winter. ;o) I've not done a snow/wintery project before, so I am pleased how it come out. Glad you like it. ;o)

      Michelle :o)

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  14. Absolutely awesome job on the cabin and your snow. I loved reading what and how you've done this! Thank you so much for sharing!

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    1. Hello!

      Thank you heaps, glad that you like it! I've longed wanted to experiment with snow...I need to as I have some projects that require it! lol

      I will resume work on this later in the year. :o)

      Michelle :o)

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  15. This is brilliant Michelle xxx

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    1. Thank you Debie! It was fun to do...and oh so tiny! :o)

      Michelle xxx

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  16. Darling WInter Cabin, Michelle! Your snow effects look quite realistic. If you ever use the polystyrene again, try using a hot wire to cut it. The wire will also cut rounded edges and scallops, etc in the polystyrene. Got that tip from a florist who used the polystyrene as a "snowy" display base. A light dusting of epsom salts also make a realistic "glistening" snow. I use a pile of it (loose) to set my miniature Christmas Village on.

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    1. Hello Susan,

      It was a little project that kept me out of mischief, but glad you like it! Hot wire? Oh goodness, no idea what that it, I know I can't heat a knife as it might be too dangerous. Will give the Epson Salts a whirl when I work with the wintery look again...it's good to experiment with different methods and techniques. :o)

      Michelle

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  17. we have snow and I can tell you it's not nice or fun its really cold! the cabin looks wonderful though

    Love
    Marisa :)

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    1. LOL Marisa,

      I can only hope that the snow has now left you! We've had a lot of snow in the UK over the winter and some as recent as only a few days ago.

      I loved working on this, I think cos it was so tiny and didn't take my whole body weight to move it! lol

      Michelle xxx

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  18. Beautiful icicles, snow everywhere and very realistic! Thank you for this excellent and comprehensive presentation!

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    1. Hello Anda,

      So pleased you like it and thank you for your kind words! :o)) Doing tutorials are fun, but oh so time consuming, tis one of the reason's I don't do too many of them these days...this was different though and not anything like I've done before. :o)

      Michelle :o))

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  19. I love love love this cabin and your snow is very realistic! Absolutely fabulous!

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    1. Hello Gaye,

      Thank you so much for your kind words. :o)) I will be filling it with furniture etc later in the year. ;o)

      Michelle :o))

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  20. This is absolutely brilliant! LOVE the effect you have created with the icicles and the layers of snow. And the photos of the porch with the snow blown onto the wood and the walls is just so wonderfully realistic!
    Thank you!

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    1. Hello Josje,

      Gosh, thank you so very much for your kind words. :o) Glad that you like it. :o))

      The blown snow on the front of the cabin was exactly the look I was seeking. I really had no idea what methods would work. I always work this way...if something works then that's great, and if it doesn't I try again!

      The sides were the hardest to do, one side I'm not overly happy with and I may have another fiddle.

      No doubt when I come to do another snow project I will be doing some other method, just to see if I can find another that's better still and of course drive myself a little mad in the process! lol

      Michelle ;o)

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  21. Wow!!
    What a great post! Thanks for sharing all those tips, the end result is anazing. Well done. The inside is going to be so cosy now.
    Cant wait to see more...
    Happy New Year
    Siimon

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    1. Hello Simon,

      Thank you! It was a lot of fun...I do like to play! lol

      I can't wait to dress it either, I will do though and I will show progress at the end of the year. :o)

      Michelle :o))

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  22. Hi Michelle, I am just now catching up on my blogs :( Your icicles look just like the ones hanging off our roof. I love the little cabin, it is nice to work on a smaller project once in a while, I see so many possibilities with your tiny cabin. I look forward to seeing how you finish it.

    Happy New Year,
    Victoria

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    1. Hi Victoria,

      So great to see you about ! I still have no broadband connection so I am replying via my phone, so there could be more typos than normal! Lol

      I'm glad that you like the little cabin, I don't think I've worked on anything so tiny! Lol The curtains will go up tomorrow and I am having some commissions made for it, most tiny, but what it needs. ;o)

      I have a few projects to keep me busy both sides of my house move. As you are aware, I am no longer showing progress etc., on my Harry potter projects in the public domain, so my new projects are a God send! :o))))

      Michelle xx

      Sent from my iPhone

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  23. Wow, I love your winter cabin! Snow and icicles look so realistic. Happy new year.

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    1. Hello Minna,

      Thank you! The icicles come out well, they even surprised me! :o))

      Michelle ;o)

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  24. looking great, i love your ice and snow. my brain keeps thinking of hogsmead and the snowcoverd buildings. I think i have HP on the brain.lol

    Jenn

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    1. Hello Jenn,

      Thank you! :o)))

      LOL Hogsmeade indeedy! Now that's a town that has some serious snow! That will be more of challenge, but not insurmountable, where there's a will there's a way! :o)

      Michelle :o))

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  25. Loving this, Michelle, great work and thanks for sharing...xxx

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    1. Hello Mags,

      Thank you and you are most welcome. Work will resume ASAP! ;o)

      Michelle xxx

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  26. Thanks for sharing this is really a wonderful project!!! Good job really neat snow and icicles even footprints~

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    1. Hello Chris,

      Thank you! Just a little project that was a lot of fun to do...still some bits to do yet.

      The footprints were a bit tricky to do and not end up with a contrived look, not sure I've totally achieved that though! lol

      Michelle :o))

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  27. WOW talk about realistic! An absolute brilliant job! Can't wait to see how you do with the inside!
    hugs

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    1. Hello Karin,

      Thank you heaps! ;o))) Before I started, I pretty much thought it could go either way..a total mess or not! It turned out far better than even I thought, so I'm most pleased! ;o))

      As you know, work on the inside will resume just as soon as I can! :o)

      Hugs,
      Michelle ;o))

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  28. Brilliant! I love it! I am following with excitement! Thank you so much for sharing how you created the snow and the icicles! Awesome!!!
    hugs

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    1. Hello JFolk!

      Thank you! ;o)) So glad that you liked it! Still more work to do on the inside and a little more to be added to the outside scene. I'm not presently able to work on my mini's, but I will just as soon as I can! ;o))

      Hugs,
      Michelle :o))

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  29. Maravilloso tutorial,muy completo y el resultado es perfecto,muy real mil gracias por tus consejos!!!
    Besos.

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    1. Hello Leioa,

      I'm glad that you enjoyed it and found it useful. :o) I will adding to it all just as soon as I can!

      Michelle xx

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  30. I love your work this looks so lifelike :) your work is always amazing

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    1. Hello Wee Life,

      Oh thank you!:o)) I was really pleased with how it turned out, especially as it was the first time I had done a snow project. More to come!

      Michelle xx

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