Monday, January 24, 2011

Quick Roadway Markings

While obsessing on my post-apocalypse terrain, I got to the point of putting markings on the roadways; lane strips, stop-bars, and crosswalks.  I had done this some years before by masking with tape and brushing on the markings, a relatively slow and somewhat tedious process. 

This time around, I had intended to use paint markers and a straight-edge.  I figured that it would be easier, but hadn't realized how much time it would save.

The process was very simple, first I located the markings with white or yellow colored pencils.  Just a couple of small marks at the beginning and end of each roadway marking.  Then I lined up a straight-edge with the marks, and simply draw on the marking with an acrylic paint marker.  It took about 35 minutes to do all 36 feet of roadway.    You can see the result in the following photos:

Despite the rough surface of the pavement, the markings came out very bold without much effort.

The Elmers Painter paint markers and the colored pencils used are pictured below:

The markers are available from Dick Blick art supplies in the US:

I probably wouldn't have thought to mention these, but happened to come across another gamer's post this weekend talking about the work invested in masking his roadways to locate the painted markings.

In my case, I am creating post-apoc terrain, so want the markings to be end up very faded and sometimes totally obscured.  Had this been new or maintained  roadway, the markings would have been applied to a smoother surface, and would have been even cleaner and more distinct.  After applying the markings, I then began to apply washes and brybrush to "age" the markings.  The work isn't done, but the photos below show the beginnings of the process.

A single yellow and single white marker were more than enough to complete my terrain, and probably could have done twice as much.  Anyway, just thought that I'd mention them, as they were easy to use and took about a quarter of the time that I had expected.


  1. Thanks for putting this up Irishserb! I'm about to start my roadways and was wondering how to the markings - I shall try the paint markers now!

  2. The markings turned out really well. I am enjoying following your progress, it looks like it is come together very nicely.


  3. I'm very impressed and it makes me think that I will need to up my game on my town terrain boards.

  4. Nice one. I have a cloth in need of some road markings; I will have to try this out.

  5. Very nice looking, and certainly easier than masking and painting by hand. If and when I get around to building my terrain, I will certainly use this method.

  6. Thought I'd mention, if you are putting markings on a smooth surface, put a couple of strips of masking tape on the back of your straight edge, inset from the edge that will be your guide. This will raise the straight edge off of the surface a little, and keep the paint marker from bleeding under the straight edge.

    My thanks to everyone for the comments.