Thursday, January 24, 2013

Tutorial - Making Cables


After my last post, quite a few people asked me about the cabling I've used on my recent Mechanicum models, and I figured doing a full post on it would be best. So here goes...


On my recent models I've really only used two types of cables: thin greenstuff (above left) and cast "guitar string" (above right). This is because I had misplaced my "tentacle maker", which I have now found and created a ridged greenstuff cable  (above center).


For the two greenstuff cables, I typically start with leftover green stuff that I've been using for other projects. The two methods below work best when the greenstuff has lost its "stickiness" but before it has become too stiff to manipulate.


For the thin cables I push the greenstuff into a long, thin, if irregular, tube. Then, while laying on a smooth surface (in this case a sheets of plasticard), I take a small metal ruler and start to thin out the tube.


By vigorously moving the ruler back and forth along the length of the tube at a slight angle, you can slowly thin it out.


Keep rolling until you reach the thickness desired.


I then attach one end of the tube to the edge of the lamp on my painting desk, leaving them to dry.


Over the course of several sculpting sessions, your excess greenstuff can now become a great collection of flexible hoses, perfect for conversion work.


For the ridged cables, I've used the Tentacle Maker from Greenstuff Industries. Again, just start with a sausage of expiring greenstuff and place it on the base plate.


Put the top plate in place and roll it back and forth... 


...until you reach the desired diameter of cable.


I then typically hang the "tentacles" from my hobby lamp, just as I do for the thin tubes.


And finally, I love using these cast, white metal "guitar string" cables. They are very flexible, hold their position once shaped, and really look the part. There are a variety of diameters available for a great price at Dragon Forge Design. Just tell Jeff I sent you ; )

Cheers
Dave

9 comments:

  1. Great little tips there Dave, it's going to end in a lot less wasted green stuff me thinks!

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  2. I saw this cable maker a couple of months back, but thought it expensive.

    I may have to re-think my views.

    Thanks for posting the images and the tutorial.

    Tony

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  3. I love the cable maker. So damn useful!

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  4. Great tutorial and I like the 'hanging them on the lamp to dry'.

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  5. Great tutorial Dave- thanks a bunch!
    Ths

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  6. I love how you call them tentacles! Thanks for the excellent tutorial.

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  7. Thanks for the pointers -saved me lot of hassle.

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