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Painting Guide: Perfect Hazard Stripes

One of the things I had to work on for the Space Marine Police Force was the hazard stripes on their bolters.

Whilst it may seem like an arbitrary aesthetic choice taken from the Iron Warriors, this is actually a throw back to their Rogue Trader origins. The original SMFP had a stripe down his head. I found that it didn't translate so well on the more modern power armours, so I left it off the helmet.

To keep it tied in, I needed to think what a military force all about procedure and public good would do... so I put the hazard stripes on all their weapons:

It makes sense to me that these Marines would have these warning signs out on these dangerous tools. I imagine them walking across the battlefield shouting "Stop or I'll shoot!" before every volley, more interested in taking combatants into custody and due process than bloodshed. This also led to the decision to ring the bikes with hazard stripes as well:

After all, a citizen could hurt themselves on those things as a fully armoured SMFP officer crashes into them at high speed!

Making these is a pain though, as you really notice shoddy brush work. These stripes are meant to be very uniform, and you can't really justify wonky lines as personal touches of the Marine you're painting. This is a procedural matter!

So, first step is to base coat the bolter itself. This just needs a base coat of Averland Sunset, that one yellow paint that literally everybody has because it comes in the starter paint set.

I forgot to take a picture of it, but then I give the whole thing a light wash in Seraphim Sepia. You can use any other yellow wash, I just find that Sepia gives you a little bit of a more deeper yellow. It's a little closer to the traditional dirty yellow of actual hazard stripes.

Now... let's cheat a bit.

I have terrible brush control, and after the 4th cup of coffee to keep up the edutainment in the classroom, my hands are not the most stable. So I bought a nifty tool from the local stationers:

This is a foam sponge I actually stole from my 2-year olds brush set (he's just on paper for now... gets his first Stormcast on his 3rd birthday). The whole kit cost about £2, which means the sponge itself was probably about 10p. Contrast that to a Citadel Artificer brush!

This is going to give us a nice straight edge to the hazard stripe. Put some Abaddon Black on you palette and dab the brush onto the point. Then dab this onto the bolter in diagonals.

Dab around the bolter to continue the line, just keeping the sponge at the same angle. This means you'll have a nice straight line right the way around the bolter.

After that, it's just a case of tidying up any splatters:

If you want, you can fill in the black lines to a more solid colour. I kind of like the splattered edges, as it gives the stripes a sprayed-on look.

After that, take some Yriel Yellow and do the highlights. I actually recommend against highlighting the black stripes, as this gives them a nice contrast to the yellow. I put some on this model, but regret it a little. I also did my highlight in an unusual way, simply painting down the middle of the yellow line rather than following the bolter edges.

I haven't got the art training to justify the choice, but it just seems to make the striping stick out more.

After that, do the rest of the gun. All in all the whole process takes five minutes, excluding drying time, but including time taken to wash the brushes.

So... what do you think? Effective? Rubbish? Your way is better? Let me know in the comments!

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  1. Using the sponge to make the lines was genius. They can be tricky to get straight and uniform across odd surfaces like the gun


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