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Tip O' The Day

Miniature cables and hoses




Submitted By:

Chris Navarro


Need scale hoses and cables? If you're modeling a busy hangar scene, you'll need a LOT.

Fortunately, a variety of materials can be used for these. Lead solder in various gauges works well, especially fine-gauge solder. Just don't get flux-cored solder. You can shape it any way you want, and it'll stay that way. Use enamels to paint it. Bass guitar strings, if you can get them, are great-looking for conduits and stuff. Just remove the hard wire core. Old copper phone cable is good too. The kind with several thin insulated wires in an outer sleeve has several modeling uses. Black insulated wire makes good hoses, as does brown wire. You can strip a little bit of insulation off the end, paint the exposed wire silver or gunmetal, and voila! Stripped completely of insulation, the single-strand wire can be painted to represent thinner hose.

Fine thread-like rubber strings are perfect. Available at model railroad shops as telephone and power lines, these make convincing cables or hoses in 1/72 scale. They even drape realistically on the ground or over fuselages. You don't even need to paint them! But make sure to use white glue, as super glue may react with the rubber. You might try looking for a similar material in sewing supply shops, as well. I think it's used in garters or something. It's a black or dark gray non-fuzzy thread-like strand that stretches.

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Tips database last updated 21 July 2014

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