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Regarding washes, you can spend a lot of money on fancy washes to pick out detail on you figs if you wish but I have been using a trick that I picked up decades ago. Future Floor Wax, it isn't really a wax it is an acrylic compound that is tough as nails, is easily found in grocery stores and is cheap at right around seven bucks for a quart. It is an excellent gloss coat, a solid top coat to seal a finished mini, and provides the basis for a cheap and effective wash. This is because it has almost no surface tension and will allow the pigment to get into every nook and cranny and will not bead up (like water does) while it dries.
To make a wash first select the color you will be using, place a small amount in a disposable mixing bowl and then add a small amount of water and mix the paint thoroughly. Once that is done you begin to add the Future stirring slowly as you do. One concern with the Future is that it will create bubbles so be careful when applying. Once you have the desired opacity (which is a matter of personal taste and trail and error) apply to the mini. I generally hold the model head-down and start at the feet working toward the head being sure to get into all of the overhangs. Set the model on a surface that will tolerate staining (or harsh cleaning) and give it about an hour before flat coating. As far as falt coat I have found none better that the Armoury brand, dead flat and non yellowing.