A primer is what you use to seal in stuff that shows through normal paint, and to prevent your lovely paint job from coming off in flakes when you touch the mini.
A base coat is the first layer of (ordinary) paint you apply to your mini.
I don’t for one second believe anyone can tell the difference between a mini that’s been primed & base coated, one that’s only been primed, and one that’s been neither. At least not unless there was something on the mini that actually needed to be sealed in (and for what it’s worth, my experience is that varnish is much better for that than miniature primers).
One of these minis were neither primed nor base coated. The other was both. Do let me know if you see a difference.
The colour of the primer is less important than the quality, but it’s obviously quicker & easier to use the same colour as the base coat, or failing that, a colour you don’t need 10 coats of paint to cover - like grey or white.
A wash (perversely referred to as “inks” by a certain manufacturer - maybe it’s just a Brit thing) is simply thinning paint down and letting it naturally run to the lower areas on the figure.
You’re sort-of right about washes, but in practice shop-bought washes tend to have a higher pigment count and finer pigment.
Inks are something altogether different. Inks have very low pigment counts, but very fine pigment, and they’re in a glossy solution. They’re for making stuff shiny. In the pics above, inks were used to add a bit of a wet look to the tube-like stuff in the limbs, and to make the carapace shine.
Steady hands: [snip]
Heh, you and me both :D
That said, you should mount the mini on something, and hold on to the something instead of the mini. An empty GW paint jar & a clump of blue tac should work. Alternatively drill a hole in the part of the mini that “stands” on the base, glue in a bit of wire, and mount the thing on a wine cork.
If you hold on to your mini while you’re painting, you’ll both wear off the paint and risk all manner of annoying smudges.
Not that I know of. If that’s really an issue, you can try using airbrush paints (very high pigment count & very fine pigment).
It has never been a problem for me, though. Do you thin your paints at all? Because generally speaking, you should. One trick is to use something like this:
Then lay down a bit of toilet paper and add just enough water for the toilet paper to almost drown in it. Then put globs of the paint you need on the toilet paper.
That way the paint will stay at a good viscosity, and you can easily thin it down further by the brush-stroke. Incidentally I’m not suggesting you should buy the pictured thingy. Make your own.
Having said all that, I suggest you listen to IainC (because holy crap that guy can paint), and look for tutorials on specific stuff at places like YouTube & DakkaDakka.