I first spray the figures with white undercoat followed by a wash of raw umber as described previously under My Secret Ingredient.
Then I use a wash of Coat d'Arms 154 Ink Wash Black over the armour areas and blades
Many people recommend undercoating with black if you are painting figures with lots of armour. I don't. I have tired it and I do not like the effect. Firstly if you use spray paint it has a tendency to give a deeper covering over highlights and miss out some of the lowlights. With armour you need the opposite: dark in the groves and lighter on the high points. You could get around this by brushing on the undercoat but that does not seal the figure as well and it takes a lot more time. Furthermore, if you undercoat with black you cannot use the style I like which is using thinned down acrylics to let the figure do the work for you. Over a white undercoat the highlights are naturally lighter and the lowlights darker giving you a realistic effect without having to shade or dry brush. If you use a black undercoat the only way you can do this is to go over all the non-metallic areas with white in order to paint the basic colours. Far too much work and still the colours are much duller than if you used them over a white undercoat.
Therefore I stick to a white undercoat. I used to simply paint the armour with a dark metal and then apply a black wash at the end. Now, however, I find you get a much better effect if you frist apply the black wash then dry brush with dark metal (gun metal or something similar) and finally dry brush again with silver.
My basic method is described below.
The next step is to dry brush the armour with a dark metal. I like Games Workshop's or Coat d'Arms Bolt Gun Metal. It is dark enough but still has a nice shine. I don't worry too much if either the black wash or the bolt gun metal strays onto other parts of the figure as this can easily be touched up with white before moving on to other colours.
I then paint the rest of the colours in the same way as I have described on the previous pages. Here you can see I have aslo added some touches of gold to the armour as this unit will be a Viking King's retinue. I wash the figures with Raw Umber at the end of this stage, not worrying too much if the wash spills onto the armour as it can look like a little rust gathering between the rings or plates.
Once Raw Umber wash is thooughly dry I often apply another light drybrushing of silver to pick out a few highlights on the armour and on the edges of weapons