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Prosthetic Makeup (Page 2)
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subego  (op)
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Jun 3, 2014, 02:17 PM
 
@Face Ache,

I feel like I may be coming off like a dick. Which is bad, because you're being extraordinarily helpful, and I really, really appreciate it.

So thank you for both the help, and being tolerant.
     
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Jun 3, 2014, 03:15 PM
 
Got me some Bondo fiberglass resin. We'll see how that firms-up.
     
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Jun 3, 2014, 06:18 PM
 
I don't think you're being dickish at all.

You mean car body filler? (Which is just fibreglass resin and talc). That stuff is sloppy, messy, and hardens almost instantly right when you don't want it to.

I use it all the time. It's a love/hate relationship.

Here's a 1.25m tall Martian Fighting Machine I made from scratch.



Balsa skeleton, filled gaps with insulation foam, covered in Bondo, sanded, sanded, sanded, filled, sanded, filled, sanded... Then made a mould of the shape with a silicone skin and plaster (for rigidity), and made a rotational cast (turning it until the resin sets) so I had a hollow shape.















A lot of faffing about, but I wanted a big 'un, and I couldn't buy them anywhere, so...
     
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Jun 4, 2014, 07:03 AM
 
Filler putty resin is good for filling. Like Face Ache said, it hardens too quickly for fine work, but it's great for small bits that you can sculpt or otherwise detail.

My limited experience with fabric and resin fiberglas has been "interesting." But it taught me a few things, like support is crucial, especially when you're laying the resin on. From a practical point of view, repairing a fiberglas shower pan isn't particularly easy, but it's doable - and a lot less expensive than having the pan replaced. From a structural point of view, the better you support the fabric, the better the finished product will work.

For thin parts, you have to make sure your fabric is both thoroughly saturated AND that you smooth out the fabric sufficiently to keep its texture from showing through. And fabric/resin is kind of heavy, which may be a problem in getting it to stick to a small person's face. This is why I suggested vacuum forming; thin polystyrene is easy to manage and there's no underneath to show, and it's light. A DIY former isn't hard to build, using a home vacuum and your oven to warm the plastic. Check out this Instructables page for a number of quick and not-so-quick DIY forming setups.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
subego  (op)
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Jun 4, 2014, 11:11 AM
 
First off... holy shit, Face Ache, that's fantastic!


The stuff I'm using is this:



It did work much better than the PU (not a surprise). It doesn't eliminate the flex, but vastly improves it, and gives it a bit of "memory" so it will flex back from minor bending.

Chemical curing always throws me for a bit of a loop. You get this reversal of air curing where thicker parts of the resin cure faster. There are even a few thin spots on my test mold where it still hasn't cured, 15 hours later. I think I'm going to need extra hardener for the final application. Said application takes about three or four minutes, so I'm not overly worried about it curing too fast.

The beauty for this project, is I don't have to use any actual fiberglass mesh. The wire mold is acting as the mesh.
     
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Jun 4, 2014, 11:42 AM
 
Here's the form:



It's jacked on the sides because of the goggles.
     
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Jun 4, 2014, 11:44 AM
 
Here's my resin tester:

     
subego  (op)
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Jun 4, 2014, 02:07 PM
 
If I'm not careful, I may be able to get a cast of my dog's intestines.

The box of Sculpey had her sniffer on full alert.
     
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Jun 4, 2014, 04:30 PM
 
Here's my first Sculpey cast, waiting to go in the kiln.



Astoundingly, as hard as it is to see a face in there, this may be good enough. The forehead isn't bad, the cheekbone at least tells me where to stop, and the back only needs to be in the ballpark.

I'm imagining if I go more "tentacular", I may be able to get away with the ballpark cheek.



P.S. I repurposed the idea of using plastic wrap as a mold release. Thanks, Face Ache!
     
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Jun 4, 2014, 07:18 PM
 
That it's from a face wearing a goggle is a little more apparent, here:

     
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Jun 5, 2014, 01:52 AM
 
I said "**** it" and started the sculpt.

I wouldn't even call these rough drafts. More at the outline stage.






I think it's getting clearer there's part of a face in there somewhere.

I want to use relatively sharp corners going down into the face, so worst case scenario when the inevitable happens and I get a bad seam, I can fill things in with some putty.
     
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Jun 5, 2014, 11:33 AM
 
This is about half a rough draft:



I'd actually say "not bad" for it being 20 years since I've done this.
     
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Jun 5, 2014, 04:03 PM
 
Getting back into the swing of sculpting isn't proving to be difficult, but I never used tools way back when, so I've got a bit of a learning curve ahead of me.

"Be gentle" seems to be the order of the day.
     
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Jun 5, 2014, 08:44 PM
 
I'm sorta getting the hang of it. I used tools to join where those three pieces meet. Had no idea the long, skinny one was so jacked until I took the picture.



Still... not horrible for only having a few hours experience.
     
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Jun 6, 2014, 10:56 AM
 
About 3/4 of the rough draft, with some effort at smoothing out the joins.

     
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Jun 6, 2014, 11:28 AM
 
Is this theater or film? If there's no closeups the actual level of detail doesn't need to be crazy.
     
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Jun 6, 2014, 11:38 AM
 
In general, theatre. The person is right up on the lip of the stage though, so I want it to sell at 6'. I'm hoping for 3'.

There's always promotional material though, which will at the least include closeup photos. Likewise, I prefer really long lenses (200-300mm) for photographing live shows. Those can crawl up your nostrils from halfway across the room.

We call ourselves a band, and we preform in dive bars like a band rather than in a semi-permanent installation like a theatre company, but for all intents an purposes, it's a theatre company. I call it a theatre company to explain my job as a "tech director", because saying I'm "in a band" and not playing an instrument leads to awkward conversation.

We avoid the "musical theatre" moniker because that makes people think of modern musicals, and this is more a Brecht-Weil type deal.


Overall though... total hottie, cyborg, zombie, Catholic school girl is known in the business as "money". The more front and center she can be put, the better it is for us.
( Last edited by subego; Jun 6, 2014 at 11:58 AM. )
     
subego  (op)
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Jun 6, 2014, 06:04 PM
 
I'm getting close(ish) to the part where I add found objects. Any thoughts on how I would take, say, a cap nut, and make it stay in place without burying it?
     
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Jun 6, 2014, 08:12 PM
 
For bolt heads, cut the stem, leaving 1/4 or 3/8, so you've got something to push into the prosthetic. For nuts, thread a bolt stem in, then cut to desired length. If you try a bare nut, it may fall off during performance.

Alternative: bury some magnets flush with the surface. Then tack on whatever trinket you like.
     
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Jun 6, 2014, 09:43 PM
 
Glue the bits on. Just ensure that the moulding silicone can't seep underneath (plasticene is handy for plugging gaps).
     
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Jun 7, 2014, 09:34 AM
 
What's the best adhesive for chrome to plasticene?
     
subego  (op)
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Jun 7, 2014, 10:24 AM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
For bolt heads, cut the stem, leaving 1/4 or 3/8, so you've got something to push into the prosthetic. For nuts, thread a bolt stem in, then cut to desired length. If you try a bare nut, it may fall off during performance.

Alternative: bury some magnets flush with the surface. Then tack on whatever trinket you like.
This is just for the sculpt. I want to stick things onto it, and then have the mold I make appear those parts were originally there. Then, no risk of wardrobe malfunction.

I was thinking of doing some form of "pinning" like you suggest, but the sculpt isn't very far off the cast of her face. I have less than a 1/4" of clay for the pin to stick into.

I will need something like that for the headtubes though. I'm hoping I can whip up some form of plug which is wider than the hole the tube goes into.

What I'd really love to do (past lazor eye) is have glowing green shit pump through the tubes.
     
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Jun 7, 2014, 10:40 AM
 
Almost done with the rough. I just have to fix the "L" shape on the cheek.

     
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Jun 7, 2014, 11:56 AM
 
I like the stem of the L, but not the horizontal section.

The stem makes me think "cheek sinew" which is good. That works well with the triangular piece which feeds into the side of the goggle. That to me, recalls those long muscles inside your eye socket.

The base of the L serves no purpose other than a design element, or maybe where the non-existent boom mic would attach. I may need to lop it off.
     
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Jun 7, 2014, 06:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
What's the best adhesive for chrome to plasticene?
Oh, plasticene. I thought you were using something that set hard (like Sculpey).

Can't you just use plasticene to stick bits on? Toothpick pins? (fill the nut with plasticene, stick shortened toothpicks in, place on sculpt?).

I'd have contoured a 1.5cm thick sheet of plasticene over the head cast, cast it in resin, and then drawn a design on and cut it into shapes, then sanded the faces flat and the edges sharp, then reassembled the pieces back onto the head cast (on a thin base of plasticene), added the greeblies (with glue!), and then remoulded/recast the result.

But I'm just sitting here drinking tea. Carry on.
     
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Jun 7, 2014, 10:27 PM
 
That reads less as "L" and more as "hey, is that a Z?" Otherwise, looking nifty.
     
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Jun 8, 2014, 01:14 AM
 
Originally Posted by Face Ache View Post
Oh, plasticene. I thought you were using something that set hard (like Sculpey).

Can't you just use plasticene to stick bits on? Toothpick pins? (fill the nut with plasticene, stick shortened toothpicks in, place on sculpt?).

I'd have contoured a 1.5cm thick sheet of plasticene over the head cast, cast it in resin, and then drawn a design on and cut it into shapes, then sanded the faces flat and the edges sharp, then reassembled the pieces back onto the head cast (on a thin base of plasticene), added the greeblies (with glue!), and then remoulded/recast the result.

But I'm just sitting here drinking tea. Carry on.
That would have been an excellent idea if I was confident about the design. I'm basically designing it as I make it.

That's my general creative process if I'm doing something which allows "do-overs". I fit all the puzzle pieces together in various configurations, and the configuration I find the least nauseating is the right one.
( Last edited by subego; Jun 8, 2014 at 02:05 AM. )
     
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Jun 8, 2014, 02:02 AM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
That reads less as "L" and more as "hey, is that a Z?" Otherwise, looking nifty.
Thank you most kindly!

You're right. It is a "Z".
     
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Jun 8, 2014, 10:57 AM
 
Since I'm recording all weekend, I had to put the sculpt in a cabinet. I can't be looking at it all the time and not working on it.
     
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Jun 9, 2014, 01:39 PM
 
Time to pull things back out of the cupboard.

As I approach the molding and casting part, I've got to throw down with what I'm going to use.

I'd like something firm, both because what I'm sculpting is supposed to be firm, and the ability to sand and file will be useful.

However, I don't think I can do it via pouring without a two piece mold. One for the outside of the mask and one for the inside of her face. If I do the pour into just the mask side, I'll have a big flat surface where there's supposed to be a concave gap for her face.

Any ideas for a solid casting material beyond painting on the fiberglass resin? I may just be stuck with a softer material.
     
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Jun 9, 2014, 03:20 PM
 
Even the fiberglass shit is going to be drippy and pool all over.
     
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Jun 9, 2014, 03:27 PM
 
Maybe epoxy?
     
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Jun 9, 2014, 03:34 PM
 
Okay, I know it seems like I'm posting things I should put in an edit, but this may be a decent idea...

Latex, with the fiberglass resin to stiffen it.

The resin very well may eat the latex though. It certainly ate the plastic cup I used to mix it.
     
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Jun 9, 2014, 03:43 PM
 
One more thing (yeah, sure)...

If I use silicone for the mold, any thoughts on the easiest way to build a "crib" for it so it will hold its shape and not sag if I use a dense casting material?

Baked Sculpey?
     
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Jun 9, 2014, 05:41 PM
 
Soft inner mold for the details with a hard outer mold for support. As in latex/silicone/etc. on the details with plaster poured on the outside. Think one of those large springform cake pans for the basic form for supporting your mold:

Put the original sculpt on the bottom and pour your latex/silicone on it until all the detail is captured and without much in the way of peaks and valleys; Smooth is important. Now let it set up. Next, spray "Pam" on it for a mold release. Now pour a little plaster on, lay some gauze across it, more plaster more gauze, etc. until you basically fill the cake pan. After the plaster sets up, open the springform cake pan and remove it. Now you have a plaster foundation with a latex/silicone detail mold in it - they should come apart easily enough without a lot of fiddling. Win.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Jun 9, 2014, 08:44 PM
 
Sounds like a plan! Thank you!!!
     
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Jun 9, 2014, 10:11 PM
 
To make a "moulding box" for that shape, I would build a plasticene wall around the edge, high enough so that when you fill it with silicone it will cover the sculpt and not overflow the walls.



Place the head cast/sculpt on an angle so the top of the wall is horizontal.

Fill with moulding silicone.

After the silicone has set, pull it and the plasticene wall off.

Now to cast it. Mix a small amount of resin (~ 50ml) and sluice it around the inner surface of the cast. Assuming you've got quick-set resin, after a few minutes it will thicken. When it stops flowing stop sluicing it around and let it harden for 20 minutes.

Repeat two or three times, until required thickness is achieved. It's effectively rotational casting without the full rotation.

This method negates the need for plaster because the silicone will have a flat base. The silicone skin/plaster case method is handy if you don't want to use a LOT of silicone, but this is a pretty small(ish) one-off IMO.

Edit: PIc of me using plasticene as a moulding box.

( Last edited by Face Ache; Jun 9, 2014 at 10:29 PM. )
     
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Jun 10, 2014, 02:33 AM
 
Brilliant! I like the lack of plaster.

The sculpt has kinda moved in its own direction, towards a more "single piece" look.



I'm not sure I like it, but it's not horrible, and I'm feeling time pressure.

I'm hoping some bitz will help it out and break it up a little.
     
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Jun 10, 2014, 09:03 PM
 
My method is old, and really from a "resin casting model parts" sensibility, rather than a makeup sensibility. Face Ache's method is much better for small pieces, and uses less material overall.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Jun 11, 2014, 11:44 PM
 
Gribbly hunt has not gone well. Took a two hour round trip to American Science & Surplus, which is great for this kinda shit, but nothing was the right scale.

In a sense it's for the best. I think where I left the sculpt wasn't pushing myself hard enough, and having only cap nuts forced me to try and "scallop" what I had.



I'm surprisingly happy with it. I've declared it done, and only need to do a bit of cleanup before it's time to make the mold.
     
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Jun 12, 2014, 03:33 AM
 
Couple of n00b questions.

Will the silicone jack up my sculpt much?

Is the claimed lack of mold release with silicone for when molding? When casting? Crock of shit? Suggestion for mold releases for either stage?

If I use resin, PU, fiberglass, or something else?

Since resin requires a "pour and slosh" approach, is there a better idea for not sloshing over the edge than building a plasticene lip? Resin and plasticene a bad mix?
     
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Jun 12, 2014, 04:45 AM
 
Cool.

You don't have anything mechanical and broken that you can strip for parts?

My Thunderbird 1 chair has a resin cast of a cap nut for a "microphone".



As to whether silicone will screw your sculpt, I think it's a safe bet that the mould will damage your sculpt when you pull it off. Probably screw it irreparably. The important thing though, is that the mould works. As long as that works, the sculpt is no longer needed anyway. So assume you'll have to rip your sculpt apart to get the mould off.

So: Do not **** up the mould-making part. Pour the silicone slowly onto one spot. Give it a gentle shake and a few taps to get any bubbles out.

Mould releases are generally used to stop silicone bonding to itself in two-part moulds. That's the only thing I use it for. It might make the mould come off your sculpt a little bit easier, maybe, but my money is still on the sculpt being torn up to get the mould off. Silicone won't stick to plasticene. The unknown is the stuff you painted onto the head cast. Will silicone stick to that? Maybe a light spray of mould release to be safe.

Casting: If you have a local shop that specialises in effect supplies (I do!) try to get fast-set resin. Some stuff takes hours to set, and will pool in the bottom of the mould. Using fast-set resin you can make a resin skin inside the mould in 5 minutes. Set hard in 20.

There won't be any resin sloshing over the plasticene wall because by that stage there is no more plasticene in use. Do three pours of resin into the silicone mould using a small amount (40-50ml) of resin. Repeat 2 or 3 times allowing the resin to set in between. 120-150ml of resin (total) should be enough to make a sturdy cast. Don't be tempted to just pour in 120ml of fast-set resin in one go - it will set too quickly and unevenly. Use a brush or similar (plastic knives are handy) to push the resin into the corners if you aren't confident in your sloshing abilities.

By that stage it's hard to cock up majestically, because everything is re-doable (assuming the mould worked). Repeat: Do not **** up the mould-making part.
     
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Jun 12, 2014, 05:06 AM
 
Thanks much for the answers!

The only three ingredients are the cap nuts (which I don't mind coming off), plasticene, and baked Sculpey. I don't know if that changes your prognosis.

I don't think I explained what I meant by the "plasticene lip" correctly. This is all after I've made the mold and pulled off the "moat wall".

Then I've got this nice hunk of silicone. I slosh the resin inside the "bowl" made by the mold, but I only want it to go up to the edge of where the plasticene is in the sculpt. Not the white Sculpey part, which is supposed to be her head... and is also going to be part of the mold up to where I build the inside of the moat wall. Does that make sense?

The three options I can think of are...

1) Slosh inhumanly carefully.

2) Let it slosh over the edge of where the sculpt ends and the Sculpey face begins, and then cut the bad part off. Dremel that ****?


Oh, One more question... The baked Sculpey face is pretty sturdy. When I tap to get bubbles out, can I lift one end up about a centimeter and firmly bring it back down on the table a few times, or does that sound too aggressive?
     
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Jun 12, 2014, 05:28 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Then I've got this nice hunk of silicone. I slosh the resin inside the "bowl" made by the mold, but I only want it to go up to the edge of where the plasticene is in the sculpt. Not the white Sculpey part, which is supposed to be her head... and is also going to be part of the mold up to where I build the inside of the moat wall. Does that make sense?

The three options I can think of are...

1) Slosh inhumanly carefully.

2) Let it slosh over the edge of where the sculpt ends and the Sculpey face begins, and then cut the bad part off. Dremel that ****?
Or use a brush/plastic knife/stick to push the resin into the corners and edges as it sets (when it gets viscous). A bit of overspill won't matter. Wear latex gloves.
     
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Jun 12, 2014, 07:40 PM
 
Ugh. Silicone says "degas with a vacuum chamber". Not that it's "recommended"... it's step five through seven.
( Last edited by subego; Jun 12, 2014 at 08:09 PM. )
     
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Jun 12, 2014, 08:10 PM
 
Off to the art supply store, again.

From when I was there earlier, I noticed they do have quick cure resin.
     
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Jun 12, 2014, 08:32 PM
 
P.S. The Thunderbird setup is ****awesome! Did you do the sewing too?
     
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Jun 12, 2014, 08:47 PM
 
No dice. DIY vacuum chamber time while I wait for a real one from Amazon. At least the pump comes on Saturday.
     
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Jun 12, 2014, 09:37 PM
 
Actually doesn't seem like a huge drag. Big piece of PVC pipe, couple sheets of acrylic, epoxy, gasket, gauge, hoses, and a pump.

Seems like bad things could happen if I **** it up though. I think I'll overbuild.
     
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Jun 12, 2014, 09:50 PM
 
Might have been cheaper to find silicone that doesn't need degassing. The stuff I use is a two part 50/50 mix that sets in 20 minutes. No degassing required. There are some fine details in the things I'm casting and it captures every one, no problem.

Originally Posted by subego View Post
P.S. The Thunderbird setup is ****awesome! Did you do the sewing too?
I make the moulds/casts, make the puppets, paint them, wig them, make the hats and boots, leatherwork, props, and sewing patterns, but my wife does the sewing - that's beyond me. Sewing machines are dark magic as far as I'm concerned.
     
 
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