In this node, I intend, preferably with the assistance of others, to give a rough guide as to how to paint models(lead, pewter, tin, plastic, etc.), in this case of people.
First of all, let me say I'm not an expert at all, and there are plenty of people out there who are much better than me, so please, if you're one of these people, add something here!
As I see it, there are a few basic stages to painting a small, Games Workshop size model. We'll assume you've assembled it, cleaned it etc. already at this point. Note also that this won't get you competition standard models - this is quite a basic guide =)
1) Undercoat; use a thin coat of black or white paint. The former will creep into the outside coat and make colours darker and gloomier, which can be a good thing if you want to make the model look evil, stern, gothic, etc. The latter will create bright attractive colours, and I generally go with this for the "good" figures.
2) Base coats - paint areas that will be metallic colours in a thinned down black. This will make them shinier and much more attractive. Don't miss this stage out - the difference is hugely noticeable if you don't. Also at this point, you might want to use a thinned down pinky colour (or green for orcs) on skin areas.
3) Building up - gently drybrushing the black soon-to-be-metallic areas with a silver paint, even if they going to be gold/bronze nearer the end. It might also be a good idea to fill in most of the basic areas at this point, being careful to be neat.
4) Shading/Highlighting - now that the model has no unpainted areas left on it, start adding depth. Use a thinned-down ink on any non-flat surfaces. It's best to go for an ink slightly darker than the surface, for instance, a chesnut colour for red. The ink runs into the recessed areas of the model and makes them dark, creating a nice effect. Then, do the opposite with raised surfaces. Choosing a brighter colour than the base coat of the surfaces, either (for fairly flat raised edges) run a thin brush along the raised edges, basically creating a light line, or (for ruffled raised edges) use drybrushing. Once you've done this, add detail on gemstones, eyes, etc.
This is my basic take on the topic, but as I get more time, I hope to add something more to my node on this vastly complex subject.