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Pipes, cables, tubes, pneumatic actuators, what do all these have in common? Well sci-fi wargamers love them, but sometimes there just aren't enough on your models. So what do you do? You break out the Green Stuff of course! After a few hours of hard work you're done. Then you take a look at Forge Worlds Adeptus Mechanicus miniatures, and your not as happy with your work as you were before. Well if that sounds familiar then fear not for the guys at Masq Mini bring us the Tube Tool, the answer to all our prayers. Omnissiah be praised!




Contents

The tube tool consists of 6 clear plastic plates and costs €20. Now they may look more like a stack of fancy modern beer mats than a tool but their simplicity is one of their main strengths. If you take a closer look you can in fact see that that each of the plates has a series of ridges running across one face of it. The plates come in pairs of varying sizes with each size giving a varying tube style.



Instructions

The tool works by rolling out a rough tube of modelling putty (I used Green Stuff) and laying it across the grooves, perpendicular to the ridges direction. The second plate is then placed lightly on top so the ridges line up (ensure that you have used water or Vaseline to prevent sticking) and rub the plates together. The tube of putty should be rolled between the too plates, do this for several seconds and the hey presto! You have yourself a pipe.

You can change the way the pipes look in a number of different ways:

  1. The first way is simply to use a different plate with a different sized set of ridges. This will give you pipes of varying style.
  2. By varying the thickness of the roll of putty you can achieve pipes with different circumferences.
  3. By applying more/less pressure you alter the depth of the of groves in the pipe. Deeper groves look more technological whereas shallower groves look more biological.

Pros

  • The tool is exceptionally easy to use, you can be churning out pipes by the bucket load once you get the knack for it. 
  • The simplicity of the design lends itself to both allowing the tool to be easy to learn and maintain. The tubes are also extremely cheap (if you don't by Green Stuff from GW) and you have the option to customize them to suit your needs. 
  • If you use more yellow in your Green Stuff  mix you can still bend the tubes once they have cured which allows you to stock pile them.

Cons

  • If you're not familiar with working with modelling putty to tool can be a little fiddly to use at first.
  • Unless you live in Germany you will be paying at least €30 for the tool + shipping which is quite steep for what is essentially 6 squares of plastic.
  • It can be difficult to achieve a large number of identical looking pipes. 

Summary

Overall the Masq Mini tool is an excellent addition to any converters toolbox. It is a quick and (after an initial cost) cheap way to create tubes and pipes for your miniatures. Its versatility ensures that you will be able to find many uses for it. You may argue that guitar strings or Dragon Forge's pewter pipes are better. Now while there are advantages to these over the Tube tool I find it to be my own personal favorite. Now, lets go convert an Adeptus Mechanicus Imperial Guard regiment...


If you are looking to pick up a Tube Tool for yourself visit Masq Minis website. 

To see more of my project work, visit my blog: The Fraying Paintbrush





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