I am trying to create this simple childs playground toy.
I am fine with everything but the blue handrails.
I want to create a cylinder and either bend it in two places like shown or loft a circle shape along a path.
Can anyone show me the ways to do this please?
It depends on what you are creating the model out of and what it is for. You are able to use any of the surfaces in Maya to complete this but please note that if it is for a game engine or for another program you will have to output the geometry as a Polygonal surface. There are a few methods that you could use to create the bend.
1. You could extrude along a curve
2. You could create the two straight sections and apply the Bridge tool using a curve to close the gap.
I would recommend the second option as it will give you more control over the shape of the bend. To apply a bridge you must first combine both objects then delete the inside faces e.g. you must remove any faces that the bridge will cover. To perform the bridge you must first make sure that you have the same number of edges then select both border edges (open ends of both cylinder) then select Edit Mesh > Bridge > Options. Change the Bridge Type to Smooth + Curve and up the divisions. When you apply the bridge it will connect the two cylinders together using a NURBS curve to determine the shape. To change the shape of the bridge simply select the NURBS curves CV points and move them around. Hope this helps and that I haven't confused you. Good luck