Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Caution: Stripes. Caution Stripes.

The most hazardous aspect of the Iron Warriors.

Caution/Hazard stripes, are an iconic element of the Iron Warriors history, and I have put-off this step long enough.  Due to the location of these hazard stripes, painter's tape and the airbrush are unfortunately out of the question. 

So far, I have built up the yellow color from a testor's masterwork grey primer, through 4 different GW yellows.  At this point, all that really remains is the addition of straight, diagonal black lines.This has the eye-catching appeal of a poisoned frog, but due to said eye-catching appeal, these stripes must be applied perfectly straight.  Now, the word "perfect" has become a bit of a bother.

 The consensus of my peers, is that caution stripes should be done with tape, or avoided altogether.  The reasoning behind this, is that without tape, the stripes will never be "perfect".  I would argue, that even with the tape, it will never actually be a "perfect" set of hazard stripes. 

So what does this mean?  Well, I plan on setting out some guides with a sharpened pencil, then filling in the thickness of said lines gradually.  This should give me a halfway-decent skeleton to build from.  For reference, I was glancing through the 2nd edition rulebook and chaos codex, and I don't think it would be possible to make more hideous "parallel lines".

I painted hazard stripes manually on the base of my Alien Queen Swarmlord model, and while not %100 perfect, they certainly communicate the aesthetic.  

Maybe %90 perfect.  Perhaps %80.  Regardless, I was happy with the results.  If anyone has some advice regarding this procedure, I would love to hear it.


  1. I think you have the capability of pulling them off. My only suggestion (more of a question), wouldn't a brown alternate fit your army better than a pure or 'true' black?

    I found an example that conveys my idea:
    The opposing color is more of a brown (faded black). Also on that page is a wonderful example of hazard stripes in varying degrees of age. Using weathering techniques you could easily cover any potential flaw.

    I have really enjoyed this army update. Keep up the good work.

  2. I'm not saying mine are awesome but check out my IWs on the Weemen blog. I start with block yellow like you, then mark a couple of guide points in pencil and then draw as straight as possible a line through the dots.

    Then it's a steady hand with the black - I find starting in the middle of the block easiest and working out to the edge - the touching up with a couple of layers of yellow if needed (you using the GW averland sun(?)? I then do a chipped paint effect which helps break up the lines and make them look straight...and also covers bodges....

  3. Gonewild: Thank you so much for that link! Fantastic reference material. As for your brown/black suggestion, you couldn't be more right. I have planned for this, and once I have the black lines painted on as cleanly as I can, I plan to wash the entire caution-striped area with a sepia, to help unify the two colors, and tint the black to match other shadows in the collection. And lastly, yes, weathering could certainly work to hide imperfections. I have been experimenting with blasting isopropyl alcohol through the airbrush, onto a model treated with weathering powders. These could also provide a layer between the hazard stripes and the viewing eye.

    the 6th degree: That Heldrake you painted looks great. Glad to hear you achieved that effect with such an approach.

  4. Hey bro,
    If you change your mind and decide tape is the way to go, then I would recommend dry-brushing the black on. You mask off the area and get an old brush and get it ready for drybrushing, but instead of moving the bristles along edges, you stipple it straight on. Your brush is at a 90 degree angle to the surface. Then you move it in a spiraling motion. Sometimes swirling the brush a bit.

    If you play around with it, you can get a degraded, weathered effect that will really keep within the style you have already established on the models. When you pull off the tape, it'll look sweet.

  5. you can also dapple it on for good effect too.

  6. I have acquired a few different hobby tapes, and plan to experiment with the drybrushing method Tim mentioned. I'll post results, if I am happy with them.

    Thank you for the advice, all!