Here's the process for foot and mounted riders:
1. Undercoat figure with Humbrol Matt 62 leather. Let dry thoroughly overnight.
2. Rowney Burnt Umber oil paint HEAVILY thinned with White Spirit (and I mean heavily thinned - very runny) and painted/ washed over whole figure with a largish brush (I use Humbrol president No. 4/5 or 6.) The oil will run all over the figure quite easily and hang in the detail.
3. After varying degrees of time (almost immediately after doing 5 or so figs or after about 10 mins - you need to experiment) use a piece of tee-shirt material or something similar to heavily wipe over the figure.
You'll see the detail stand out as the darker areas remain shaded. Play around with the wiping until you feel happy - don't worry about wiping off too much if it looks wrong just add more wash and rub again.
One point. I've painted hundreds and hundreds of figures usuing this method and I've never had a problem with drying times or mess. If I oil the figs in a morning or afternoon they are always ready to paint in the afternoon next day - certainly not much longer.
As I undercoat/ oil in batches on a regular basis there is always something to paint.
With this process the slow bit is painting the black metal work and dry brushing with Vallejo Oily steel (which I do once oil id dry) then it's plain sailing as you just paint the detail carefully.
I like this method because I sometimes find painting over a black undercoat difficult to see (my eyes are getting old and tired!!) whereas here the detail jumps out at you and begs to be painted.
I know this can seem a bit of a 'fiddly' method but once undercoated/oil rubbed the painting is a pleasure.
Left fig undercoated, right fig oil rubbed
Samples of oil rub and detail started
Sample Sedgemoor fig, horse to left and figs in background using method above.
Figs in background started before Xmas representing Newcastle's whitecoats as inspired By Dave Imrie's and Paul Darnell's Salute game last year.