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  • #65413
    Cerdic
    Participant

    When I was a kid we wargamed with plastic Airfix figures, until we discovered ‘proper’ metal figures. I’m sure others did the same!

    Having seen some of the amazing range of plastic 1/72 figures available today, especially some of the stuff made by Germans for their giant dioramas, does anyone else have the feeling that maybe they should’ve stuck with the scale?

    Of course, many of the WW2 boys did stay with 1/72. But what about those of you who play other historical periods?

    #65416

    1/72, supplemented with 20mm metals, are the only figures I use.

    I’m able to field armies for:

    The Bronze Age (Mycenaean, NKE & Hittite)

    Punic Wars

    Dark Ages (Late Roman & Anglo-Saxon)

    TYW (Swedish, Imperial )

    SYW (Prussian, French & Austrian)

    Napoleonics (French, Anglo-Dutch, Prussian, Russian)

    Colonials (AZW & the Mahdist Wars)

    Lots of figures & large armies: affordable & easier & more enjoyable to paint than 15mm.

    There’s pretty well no unit not obtainable though sometimes you need to search. Being a dab hand at conversions doesn’t hurt but is no longer vital.

    I guess you know our Bible?

    http://www.plasticsoldierreview.com/Index.aspx

    A sample:

    [/url]

    [/url]

     

     

    donald

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    #65431

    For some conflicts 1/72 offers very good and affordable coverage. But for many others the diversity of ranges is lacking. Also a good paint-job on a 1.72 for me takes about as much time as that for a good 15mm, but I can get away with less of a good work in 15mm.

    "Do you not know, my son, with how little wisdom the world is governed?"

    Axel Oxenstierna

    #65432
    Rob young
    Participant

    One problem is that everyone has a different idea what a particular scale/size is.  Many years ago Minifigs defined 25mm as 1″ = 6′, ie 1/72nd. Airfix were listed as 1/76th – but look at the difference in sizes betweenearly ones like the Guards band and later figures. 1/72nd vehicles were the imported figures – and they were bigger than Airfix. These days, one person’s 20mm would be described by someone else as 25mm – and a third person would say 28mm! Yes, I have seen that kind of thing – usually when someone on ebay tries to fob 20mm figures as 28mm because they sell better!

    The Ancients figures I use are Garrison 20mm and early Minifigs 25mm. They are basically the same size. This is really because Garrison 20mm got taller and Minifigs more-or-less changed the rules by suddenly calling their figures 25mm as a sale ploy. I think. I would imagine that it helped tie people in to their figures and away from Airfix. So, really, it’s one of those annoying areas – has there ever really (ie, Old School often called ‘true’ 25mm as opposed to later 25mm) been set in stone figure scales outside the model railway world?

    I think we’re just a bunch of anarchists.

    Regards

    Rob

    Rob Young

    #65443

    So ‘scale creep’ doesn’t happen in the metal lines? Scale, in reality, is subjective. Live with it.

    “1/72” plastic figures have tended to get larger, like their metal brethren, over the years.

    I differentiate between “small” 1/72 & “large” 1/72 but IMO it’s easy to get around. Anything outlandish: I don’t buy. There’s enough choice to allow this.

    Keep units to one manufacturer (mostly). Build up bases on smaller figures. Small differences are invisible in mass armies.

    In the photos above, can you see the “large” 1/72 figures standing out from the “small”? They’re there.

    If it worries you more than me, check out the Plastic Pelisse & look before you buy:

    http://plasticpelisse.blogspot.com.au/

    (excellent site that does photo comparisons).

     

    donald

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 3 months ago by Deleted User.
    • This reply was modified 4 years, 3 months ago by Deleted User.
    #65447

    for many others the diversity of ranges is lacking. 

    I’m after Egyptian cavalry for the Mahdist wars. they don’t seem to exist in 1/72.

    However, I have two choices.

    One: convert. There’s 3 different sets that after surgery, would give me Egyptian cavalry. Cutting & pinning plastic is absurdly easy & the Loctite glues make joins inseparable. I get a kick out of converting figures.

    Two: commission. I commissioned French generals for my SYW army as there was nothing flamboyant enough.

    This German company will put you in contact with sculptors , cast the figures in pewter & then market them for you so you can re-coup the costs:

    http://www.hagen-miniatures.de/index.php/en/

    A pal of mine is involved & they’re solid & been at it for several years.

     

    So only your lack of imagination will limit your ability to game nearly any period.

     

    donald

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    #65457
    MartinR
    Participant

    I still use a fair amount of 1/76th or 72nd scale plastic stuff, or ’20mm’ to be more generic. My WW2 Tunisia/Italy stuff has a lot of 20mm plastic figures (Airfix, Matchbox, Italierei, Revell etc) but fleshed out with some metal too (SHQ, FAA, Platoon 20).

    My 1916+ WW1 figures are mostly plastic (Airfix, Emhar, HaT, Revell), with a few metals.

    Pretty well all my Ancients are plastic too (HaT, Airfix, Italkieri, ESCI, Zvezda, even some old Atlantic stuff).

    I am delighted that plastics have finally turned up in bulk in 15mm though, almost all my new 15mm WW2 stuff is plastic now, figures and vehicles. I just love sticking plastic tanks together, reminds me of being a kid:)

    Personally, I prefer 15mm as compromise of looks, cost and ease of storage/transportation, but the old 20mm stuff has a certain character to it, especially some of the goofy poses. The ESCI 8th Army guy sitting on a oil drum eating his lunch but shoving the spoon in his ear is one of my favourites, as the Airfix WW1 Frenchman with the carrier pigeon. But who can beat everyones favourite French gunner (second from the left) who seems to have been hit in the groin by a cannon ball:

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    #65459
    PatG
    Participant

    I do WWII North West Europe in 1/72 Airfix, Esci and Italeri with some 20mm metal addons form AB. The ABs are gorgeous but with the plastics I can get a platoon for under $20 Can. The plastics are easy to modify into specialists as well. They paint up fine for the table and are cheap as chips.

    #65460
    Phil Dutré
    Participant

    The ESCI 8th Army guy sitting on a oil drum eating his lunch but shoving the spoon in his ear

    Just looked him up, but he’s Revell, not ESCI! 😉

    http://www.plasticsoldierreview.com/Review.aspx?id=294

    Tiny Tin Men Blog: http://snv-ttm.blogspot.com/
    Wargaming Mechanics Blog: http://wargaming-mechanics.blogspot.com/

    #65467
    MartinR
    Participant

    The ESCI 8th Army guy sitting on a oil drum eating his lunch but shoving the spoon in his ear

    Just looked him up, but he’s Revell, not ESCI! 😉 http://www.plasticsoldierreview.com/Review.aspx?id=294

    Ah. I get the non-Airfix manufacturers mixed up sometimes. That set is great, I’ve used a quite a few of the chaps in greatcoats for non desert settings, and of course it has a piper, and you can’t have too many pipers.

     

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    #65472
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    I used to play Vietnam and WW2 in 20mm and was very happy.  SHQ has some incredible and well proportioned figures, just loved them.  Then got pulled into 15mm unintentionally and now am “all in”.  I prefer all of my minis and models to be in-scale (because I do architecture and EVERYTHING is done in a scale!), and 1/72 fit that.  Now I try to make my 15mm stuff 1/100 and it doesn’t always work.  BUT, I can get more toys on the table at 15mm without it looking over stuffed.  Better detail usually on 1/72… sigh.  I do prefer 1/72 though, if I just had a table big enough…

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #65499
    John D Salt
    Participant

    So ‘scale creep’ doesn’t happen in the metal lines? Scale, in reality, is subjective. Live with it.

    As scale is a mathematical ratio between two lengths, it’s about as non-subjective as it is possible for anything in this world to be.

    I think what you mean is that people get it wrong quite a lot, which is not the same thing at all, but is certainly true.

    All the best,

    John.

    #65502
    Guy Farrish
    Participant

    Fake Scales!

    Bad Man!

    Loser!

     

    (I mean – that’s quite right John – really – but objectivity in a post modern, post truth, world!? Who’s going to believe that?

    (Apologies for the Toupee of Truth above).

    #65503
    Rob young
    Participant

    Mathematical definitions and common useage are two different things. That’s the thing with language – words are defined by people, and different people are… different. So yes, in theory 1/76th and 1/72nd are/should be exact definitions. But define 15mm, 20mm, 25mm, 28mm in terms of figure scale…using the word scale as it is used in general useage. As 20mm figures got bigger, they reached the point where people started calling them 25mm. As 25mm figures got bigger the terms Old School 25mm and big 25mm started being used. Then it reached the stage where they were called 28mm – many of which measure about 32mm…

    People don’t get it wrong. They just redefine things to mean something different.

    Rob

    Rob Young

    #65509
    Rob young
    Participant

    Well Tim bear in mind 2 points. Firstly, are particular figures being produced as toys or wargames figures? Plastic figures may be normally listed as 1/76th or 1/72nd, and you’ve actually quoted an example where a one listed as 1/72nd obviously isn’t. How many people – even wargamers – buy a box of figures in a toy shop after reading the reviews? Also, small scale manufacturers may be aimed for wargamers and be expected pay lip service to ‘reality’ – but how many do? And certainly on ebay I’ve seen 20mm figures listed as 28mm. And think about it – if everyone stuck to the same criteria regarding a given scale there would be no need for review sites to consider that aspect. Also, in metal I’ve seen 25mm figures being ‘rebranded’ as 28mm with no further changes – granted a few years ago, but then ‘modern’ ranges would ‘start’ as 28mm (or 32mm posing as 28mm).

    Regards

    Rob Young

    #65512
    Rob young
    Participant

    I’m mainly metal (Garrison Miniatures, ranges retired 2014 but blog https://easterngarrison.blogspot.co.uk/ ) – point is simple, if everyone followed the criteria, then that criteria doesn’t need to be listed. Example, if you produce a set of draughts, you don’t need to say one side is black, the other white.  If everyone did 1/72nd scale as 1″=6′ and did 6′ figures 1″/25mm tall – you have no need to list in the review how tall the figures are. There would be size variations to allow for the different heights of people, but any equipment – weapons, webbing, etc – would be exactly the same size whatever the manufacturer. Likewise, if listed as 1/76th – that would be enough.

    It isn’t though – because people aren’t following the same criteris, whatever they say.

    Rob Young

    #65515

    – because people aren’t following the same criteria, whatever they say.

    Yes: this is behind my metaphoric point (clearly *not* meant to be literal) that scale is subjective. Evidently, 1/72 can be anything a manufacturer wants it to be.

    So why discrepancies?

    I’d put it down to 3 things.

    Firstly, ineptness. The sculptor doesn’t really know what he/she is doing. Evidently the master for injection plastic figures needs to be bigger as there is shrinkage. HaT explained this as the reason behind a noticeably short set of Russian Nap artillery crew.

    Secondly, don’t care. As Rob said, some see plastic figures as toys so any sense of precision is unnecessary. This tends to happen with the more outré makers: the aptly named Lucky Toys, for example, or the venerable Atlantic.

    Thirdly, market manipulation. I cynically claim certain manufacturers purposely made their figures bigger in order to cut out the opposition. Notably Zvesda (& Italeri, for a while, when they were in partnership with Z.) made lovely figures….that towered over correctly sized 1/72 figures from other makers.

    I can (mostly) live with departures from accurate scale. I know it bugs others. Chacun a son gout.

     

    donald

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 3 months ago by Deleted User.
    • This reply was modified 4 years, 3 months ago by Deleted User.
    #65531
    Rob young
    Participant

    The market manipulation idea isn’t new. It was widely thought at the time that Minifigs started calling figures 25mm to tie people into their ranges. Making figures slightly bigger by Hinchliffe  was thought to be a marketing ploy, Lamming started making theirs bigger simply because Bill liked the look of bigger figures – he told me that he carved his masters out of brass; if so then bigger figures would also have been easier!

    Rob Young

    #65552
    Ivan Sorensen
    Participant

    I could definitely see the advantages.
    My issues were always limited poses of infantry and over-complicated vehicle kits but with “fast-build” tank kits and much more detailed infantry figures, you could easily do some pretty big games without ripping out your hair.

    Too invested in other scales these days but if I had to restart WW2 for some reason, 1/72 would be a very likely route.

    Nordic Weasel Games
    https://www.wargamevault.com/browse/pub/5701/Nordic-Weasel-Games?src=browse5701

    #65583
    Sane Max
    Participant

    I have always sorta suspected that the true reason some companies make their ‘scale’ figures out of scale is a simple combination of carelessness mixed with Hubris. I can think of several respectable manufacturers whose figures within the same general period range are wildly out of scale with each other for instance- carelessness. The Hubris thing is when a manufacturer (and the biggest of these organisations is pretty small) imagines that one day they will have covered the whole of a given period, so why does it matter if they are not perfectly to scale? And it is certainly not a recent thing. Matchbox were always smaller, and daintier than airfix.

    As it stands it is still not possible to really recommend 1/72 to a starting wargamer. As long as it’s hard to get some things for an army, people will not bother building armies. and as long as that happens the ranges will not be complete, and you will struggle to find opponents. I only build a 1/72 army if I can make ‘both’ sides, that way I am guaranteed a game. I suspect the only way this circle will be broken is some sort of Giant Breakthrough- say, a company launches an enormously successful boxed wargame set in a period, and using the scale. Imagine if back in the 90’s GW had decided 1/72 was the scale of choice for the boxes of Warhammer Fantasy. The impetus would have pulled other makers and gamers into its orbit and fed the market.

    If any of us become Millionaires, this would be a fine project.

    Pat

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 3 months ago by Sane Max.
    #65585
    Sane Max
    Participant

    OOOhhhh must dash, Caesar have released the second box of Orcs. To Hannants!

    Now THAT’s an area with remarkably little in it = Fantasy 1/72 plastics. There are very few manufacturers making them, and most of those are garbage. The Caesar ones are actually rather good. I wrote a min-review post a while back, here it is.

    A few years back I picked up a box of each of the 6 Caesar Fantasy sets – Dwarfs, Elves,Goblins, Orcs, Undead and Adventurers. I picked out a few, went ‘meh’ and put them to gather dust with the rest.

    However, bored recently I started painting them, and you know? they are not awful. The Orcs and Undead are passable, the goblins a bit poor and the elves have serious ear-isues, but the dwarfs look rather sweet. Even the giant bat-eared Troll you get in the adventurer set is tolerable once you paint her. Each set has its own unique problem – the elves have ridiculously large ears, the Goblins have only one archer pose (and many of the goblin poses are weak) all the boxes suffer from a shortage of ‘Characters’ and have only 1 standard bearer – but they are not too poor.

    Since you only get a dozen poses in a box they are not suitable for large armies, but for fun skirmish games they make a nice change.

    So, I was browsing the net to see if my paint jobs are better than the people out there (and since most 1/72 plastic buyers don’t paint them, and many of the ones that do still use airfix enamels I was comparatively satisfied) when i discovered they have released not-Skaven, Not-Lizardmen and two sets of Zombies – Fantasy and Modern. The zonbies will bulk out the undead nicely. There is one overwhelming issue with all the sets – if you are gonna do NotHammer Fantasy, why not do some research and do it properly? 4 Goblin Archers in a box of 36? No. 8 Orc Archers? No, No…. 4 Liche Kings, 4 Vampire Counts and 4 Female Vampires in a box of 36? NoNoNoNo NO!!. The Ratmen for example appear to have 8 archers as well as 4 Slingers. Doh! If on the other hand you are NOT going to do Nothammer, why not be a bit different? Instead, they have fallen between two stools – the usual WH stereotypes are there – the crouched, wrapped-faced Skaven, the Dwarf slayers – but not close enough to satisfy someone who wanted to, say, play Warhammer Fantasy Skirmish with them.

    I also notice they are due to release a second set of Orcs, which is good. I will try to take some pics if anyone gives a damn, as long as you promise not to laugh at my very ordinary painting skills.

    Pat

    I have since used these chaps to play several very enjoyable games of Age of Sigmar. of all the ranges the Dwarfs are the best, genuinely rather good.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 3 months ago by Sane Max.
    #65593
    Sane Max
    Participant

    Oooh, resorting to ‘Ad Mopinem’? Dirty pool, old boy.

    There is one other period outside wwii where the resources are there, oddly, Chariot-era Middle east fans are well served. And it is not my period at all, but SURELY you can get anything you want for Naploenics.

    I have twenty boxes of Emhar Prussian, French and Zouave infantry gathering dust on a shelf. the FPW is a war I have never collected, and so both sides in 1/72 seemed like a cunning plan. I refuse to start painting them until you can also get the cavalry…… 10 years later and counting……..

    #65594
    willz
    Participant

    1/72 or 1/76 or 20mm figures have their advantages and disadvantages just like their 3mm, 6mm, 10mm, 15mm, 18mm, 25mm, 30mm, 32mm, 40mm, 54mm brethren or sisters.  In the late sixties when I started playing with my toy soldiers generally all that was available was Airfix, Matchbox (70’s) and Britain’s / Timpo, lead wargaming figures were out of the price range for most of the people I knew who pushed their toys across the table or garden.

    Plastic 1/72 or 1/76 or 20mm figures or whatever ever you call was and still is cheap and you get a shed load of figures for your cash, I learned and improved my painting and modelling skills on hacking, chopping, head swapping on Airfix figures, there is a whole host of headless, legless and body-less plastic figures in my bits boxes.  I still worry that the ghosts of the plastic pieces will haunt me.  As I earned money I was able to afford metal wargame figures but I always have a fondness for plastic 1/72 or 1/76 or 20mm figures and the choice of plastic figures available today is astounding.

    Airfix and similar on show at Exeter May 2017 (sorry don’t know who’s game) but an excellent 1/72 or 1/76 or 20mm wargame.

    My Zvezda Swedish based for HOW

    WWII various Plastic 1/72 or 1/76 or 20mm manufactures.

    Airfix, Revell, mountain troops.

    Your have to love the 1/72 or 1/76 or 20mm plastic.

    #65595
    Cerdic
    Participant

    Interesting discussion!

    Leaving aside any ‘scale creep’ issues, which affect metal figures of all sizes as well, the range of good quality figures available is huge. It seems to be the scale of choice for much of Europe, especially Germany. They appear to be more into dioramas than wargaming, but there are some great figures being made.

    Just Google images franznap 1/72, for example! For many periods you can now get almost anything you can think of.

     

    #65838

    1/72 scale plastic figures definitely shine for WW2.  We are also are spoiled for choice with Medieval, Ancient, Napoleonic and Colonial eras.  Other eras still have holes that need to be filled.  Mid 18th century has many OOP sets and the cavalry is underrepresented.  Renaissance during the time of the 30 Years War and ECW also have some significant holes.   The Early Dark Ages/Post Roman Britain are still lacking in proper generic Dark Age Germanic foot warriors.

    Fortunately there are companies that do 1/72 scale figures to fill the holes.  Lancer has a range of 18th century figures including cavalry.  Tumbling Dice have a range of Renaissance figures for TYW.   Tumbling Dice and New Line Designs combined can fill the holes for the Dark Ages.

    Of course, the main reason to buy plastic figures to begin with is cost.  They are significantly cheaper.  So, by going metal, you are effectively tripling your cost.  It is a good scale and the one true scale as far as the birth of the hobby is concerned.  😉

    John

    "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

    --Abraham Lincoln

    #65841
    Patrice
    Participant

    I still have a lot of old Airfix soft plastic miniatures …but with time some of them became easily breakable and now fall into bits.

    http://www.argad-bzh.fr/argad/en.html
    https://www.anargader.net/

    #65842

    I still have a lot of old Airfix soft plastic miniatures …but with time some of them became easily breakable and now fall into bits.

    Yes, I think there was a time when the plastic used had a “Use By Date”. I don’t think anymore and the oldest of my painted figures is 30 YO & still robust.

    I was glad to NOT see any mention of flaking paint on this thread. With some preparation, it was never a big problem & with the new plastics & decent paint (thank you, Vallejo) not a problem at all.

     

    donald

    #65858

    The plastic disease has to do with temperature and climate control.  I had a friend who had the Astronaut set at their summer cabin.  It was not winterized.  He left them there.  The following summer he returned to find that most of the figures had crumbled.  He thought some kind of bug ate them or something.  We were only about 10 years old so cut us a break.  It was likely the cold temperatures that broke the plastic down.

    John

    "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

    --Abraham Lincoln

    #65892
    Sane Max
    Participant

    I was glad to NOT see any mention of flaking paint on this thread. With some preparation, it was never a big problem & with the new plastics & decent paint (thank you, Vallejo) not a problem at all.

    well, there Wasn’t…. you started it. I still have encountered the issue with some modern manufacturers. Most annoyingly, some HAT figures are made out of a soft, squishy plastic which takes paint and holds it wonderfully, while some are made of hard plastic that does flake. And ‘A call to arms’ do the most beautiful Zulus in 1/72 which not only won’t take paint, they won’t take anything – glue, Nails (maybe exaggerating about the nails). It broke my heart to bin them, but bin them I did, after months of trying to get the shields to stay on I realised they were a lost cause.

    #65902

    trying to get the shields to stay on.

     

    Two part epoxy?

    I’ve just finished a unit of Newline Celtic cavalry (20mm) where, as usual with metals, there isn’t even a suggestion of a lug to hold the shields.

    The messy & fiddly aforementioned epoxy gives an unbreakable grip in either metal or plastic.

    Next time you throw away plastic figures, I’ll send you my address & you can throw them my way.

     

    donald

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 3 months ago by Deleted User.
    #65950

    BTW Max, you probably don’t remember but many years ago, on TMP when it was still a wargaming site, you gave me much invaluable advice on the hobby. I still ask silly questions and state the bleeding obvious so not much has changed.

     

    Cheers, donald

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by Deleted User.
    #65990
    Sane Max
    Participant

    trying to get the shields to stay on.

    Two part epoxy?

    I’ve just finished a unit of Newline Celtic cavalry (20mm) where, as usual with metals, there isn’t even a suggestion of a lug to hold the shields.

    The messy & fiddly aforementioned epoxy gives an unbreakable grip in either metal or plastic.

    Next time you throw away plastic figures, I’ll send you my address & you can throw them my way.

    donald

    -Two part epoxy
    -3 o4 r different brands of varying glues
    -Superglue
    -Specialist superglue
    -Superglue with accelerators
    -Specialist superglue with accelerators
    -Trained ants, with tiny welding torches

    None of them worked. It broke my heart, they really are lovely figures.

    T

    #65991
    Sane Max
    Participant

    BTW Max, you probably don’t remember but many years ago, on TMP when it was still a wargaming site, you gave me much invaluable advice on the hobby. I still ask silly questions and state the bleeding obvious so not much has changed.
    Cheers, donald

    I remember you well Ochoin. I doubt I gave you that much useful advice, as I am a font of ignorance usually.

    #66390
    Rob young
    Participant

    Remember a few posts ago I mentioned people on ebay listing 20mm as 28mm?

    Not quite that, but Airfix Confederates as 25mm comes pretty close.

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/22-Confederate-Infantry-marching-ACW-25mm-painted-wargame-soldier-Airfix-plasic-/292171661508?hash=item4406c9c0c4:g:6tQAAOSw-YVXmPvM

    ’22 Confederate Infantry marching ACW, 25mm painted wargame soldier Airfix plasic’

    They’re made of a now obsolete material called plasic.

    Rob Young

    #66392
    Patrice
    Participant

    It was likely the cold temperatures that broke the plastic down.

    Now that you mention it – mine did spend a lot of time in an attic (slate-roofed) and perhaps warm temperatures in summer may have done some harm too…

    http://www.argad-bzh.fr/argad/en.html
    https://www.anargader.net/

    #66403

    I still have sizeable armies in 1/72 for ACW (Airfix,Esci,Italeri,Revell),  WW2 (All theaters – all makes)  with skirmish games in the Peninsular (All makes), Fantasy (Italeri, Dark Alliance),  and Modern (Italeri, Esci and Caesar) periods.

    Each ACW army is around 800+ figures of which half would be Airfix and they are holding up quite well.

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