Here at Graven Games, we love converting and scratchbuilding models for our games, and are always on the look out for cool tools and gadgets to help us do this. In today’s review we will be looking at the Masq-Mini TubeTool, designed to help you easily create your own power cables, tentacles and similar shapes for use on your models.
Masq-Mini (Masquerade-Miniaturen) are a German company who produce and sell their own range of models and hobby tools. The Masq-Mini TubeTool is available for €20 (around $25 or £16) from http://masqmini.com, Our Tubetool arrived as shown below.
Inside the bag are 6 textured plates and 1 smooth plate, each plate is 50x50mm. In these photos, the smooth plate is coloured blue as it has a protective film on it, once the film is removed for use it will be transparent, just like the rest of the plates.
The textured plates are actually 3 matching pairs for creating different sized cables. Each plate is clearly labeled with which size it is, although its hard to make out in the pictures due to their transparent nature. Size 0 is the pair of tiles with the smallest texture, then there is pair of Size 1 for medium sized cables and Size 2 for the largest cables.
Below is a close up of one of the plates, as you can see it has a ridged surface to make lines on your power cables.
To use the Masq-Mini TubeTool you will need a sculpting material, we have chose to use kneadatite (otherwise known as Green Stuff) but you can use Milliput or anything other sculpting material you like.
The first step is take a small amount of your sculpting material and use the smooth plate to roll it into a small sausage shape by moving the plate in a forwards and backwards motion. We found that when working with Green Stuff, which tends to be a little sticky, its best to use a little water on the Masq-Mini TubeTool to keep the Green Stuff from sticking to it.
The next step is to take your Green Stuff sausage and place it onto one of the ridged plates as shown. We are using the plates with the largest details (Size 2) during this review to make everything easy to see, although you can use use sizes 1 and 0 to make finer cables if you wish.
You then take the other plate of the same pair (Size 2 in this case) and again move it forwards and backwards so that the Green Stuff sausage rolls over the grooves in the plates. You need to keep the plates straight when doing this, so its a good idea to push the plates up against something straight like a book or CD case, so that when you are moving the plate backwards and forwards it doesn’t go off track.
And this is what the Green Stuff looks like after a couple of seconds.
To make the cable we just created look more realistic, you can roll it underneath the smooth plate again, which softens the detail and leaves you with a great looking cable!
Depending on how hard/long you press with the smooth plate, you can make all different kinds of cable.
We think these cables would also make great tentacles on monsters, and chaos creatures. We created these by following the procedure above but pressing harder on one side when rolling, so that one end is thinner than the other.
You can also use this tool to create handles for weapons. To make sure it would be strong enough, we wrapped our Green Stuff around a piece of wire before running it through the TubeTool.
By turning the plates in different directions when rolling, we found we could make some cool cables, including this spiral one shown below.
By turning the top plate 90 degrees we found we could make these scaled or armoured cables for a totally different look.
We also tried some using the plates at other angles and came up with these very different cables, the bottom one even looks like it could be used as a horn on a model.
Lastly, we wondered what would happen if we tried different sized plates together, and to our surprise it works really well, giving us another unique looking type of cable.
Now that we’ve discovered how easy it is to make cables and tentacles with the TubeTool, we definitely wont be going back! This tool is especially useful for anyone working on models with lots of mechanical parts and cables (…like us with our Adeptus Mechanicus army) or anyone wanting to create or convert monsters and beasts with plenty of tentacles. We even think they could work well as conversion parts for Chaos Space Marine armies in Warhammer 40k.
If you would like to get yourself a TubeTool or see the other tools that are available, head over to http://masqmini.com