I am at best a workman-like painter, but over the years I've developed a couple of different approaches to painting that I'm happy with. A quick glance around the blogosphere will find loads that put mine to shame. Heck, even I can do better! However, I have managed to find the balance I'm happy with between getting figures painted reasonably quickly and being generally pleased with the result.
This is a brief tutorial just running through the steps I use when painting 28mm dark ages figures. I'm mainly writing it in response to a request for some tips, but it may be useful to others getting started. Apologies in advance that the photos aren't great.
So, what we are painting today is a unit of 8 Flemish mercenaries for Saga, made up of metal figures from Gripping Beast. As they are a unit of professional mercenaries, I've decided that they are going to have a fairly uniform appearance, using the same colours on their shields. The shield designs are going to be very simple - for a guide on how to go about doing complex Celtic designs, see here.
First steps are to glue the figures together, stick them to their base with PVA and spray them with white undercoat. I prefer a white undercoat to black on 28mm figures. With 1/72 figures I undercoat in dark grey.
Model Dads Blog that shows the sorts of colours achieved by early medieval dyes. And while you are there, check out their article about basic colour theory, which will help you work out what colours look good with each other and why. But remember - tone the colours down, even adding a little grey, buff or brown if you are using white.
here. I also don't dip the figure, but carefully brush it on so that it doesn't darken the figure too much or pool goopily in crannies like bent elbows etc. Essentially you can achieve a similar effect by using a wash, but this method also adds a glossy protective coating to the figure. This is also a good time to add some sand in random patches to the base and stick some magnetic sheet to the figure's bases so they won't rattle around in the tool box I carry them in.