Now I know I haven't painted figure for some years now, oh wait some 34 years to be a matter of fact, but I want to share what I do know and you will be able to see my work as we go along. Much like any skill if you don"t use it you loss it.
First off I washed my figures with a mild detergent to remove any and all mold releasing agents, this is a must there is no getting around it if you want your paints to stick to the figure. Once done let dry.
Next I primed my figure with a Primer paint, what Primer you use is up to you, there is a lot of debate as to which one to use. I use the cheap off the shelf stuff at most any hardware place Rustoleum Primer. One could use the more expensive one from you local hobby shop for painting figures.
Now I mount my figure on something that will become a handle which make handling them easier as I paint and I don't have to directly handle the figures with my fingers, now you can use wine bottle corks or wood dowels, I use wood dowels mount the figures with blue poster putty.
I made a stand for the wood dowels out of a section of 1"x 4" then bored hole in it it sore of looks like a test tube holder. The wood dowels I cut down to 4 1/2 inches to hold comfortable in my hand as I paint.
Now I have always painted my figures as I would dress myself, starting with any and all skin areas, then hair, working with the 15mm range you don't really need to paint the eyes, a simple very thin black lines will do reasonable well (--) being is in daylight we squint our eyes and therefor you don't really see the color or the details of ones eyes at a long distance.
Paint the skin in a deep skin tone then use a lighter tone for the high areas of the face and hands then use a lighter tone for the high lights for the face and hands bridge of the nose, chin, cheek bones.
Same approach for the hair as well.
Next we pant the cloth areas starting with the inner clothes if the figure is wearing a tee shirt and jacket you start with the tee shirt then the jacket and so forth with the pants or skirts.
Shoes and boots are last.
Now for the details weapons or any other hand held objects.
Last is the finer details, those little things you want to pick out on your figure buckles, buttons, and any other details you wish to high light for this I like to use toothpicks soaking in water.
Working with toothpicks
I can sharpen them to a sharper point as I wish to have, using my hobby knife. Soaking the tooth pick in water as you work prevents the paint from soaking into the wood before you have a chance to put it to the figure, second the water in the toothpick helps keep the paint wet just long enough until you put it to the figure, you may have to apply the paint more then once, but the results are worth the effort.
Next step is to do a wash of the figure, this can be a paint wash or an ink wash.
The last step is to seal your work, this can be done with Future Floor Wax (Not really a wax) a clear varnish or other sealers from gaming stores,. A sealing oat helps save your great paint job, protects the paint from oily fingers or from chipping of as well. I'm using a water base polyurethane it's water thin and it dries as a very thin hard shell I have to do a few coats. Once they are dry to knock down the shine you will have use a can of dull coat from most any brand. Again I'm using cheap off the shelf stuff from the hardware store.
So here is a set of my figures so what do you think.
I started with zombies again I haven't done this in over some time so if I screwed them up, who cares there Zombies, now this set still needs to be sealed and matted but I think the came out pretty good.