|Primer and washes|
As an experiment to see what could be achieved, I cleaned up 24 rangers and primed them brown. Then I put on a guiding wash, to provide some elementary shading and lining. I split the rangers into 3 batches and tried different washes. The first batch got army painter strong tone diluted with matt varnish, the idea being that it would remove the shine and soften the tone a little. The second batch got pure army painter strong tone, the third got pure army painter soft tone. In retrospect, I should have washed one batch with my usual mix of black and brown paint plus matt varnish, for a control group. Alas, I did not. All three groups were a little disappointing, the wash didn't really adhere as it usually does and pooled a bit more than normal. I don't know if this is due to the primer or the wash, which is where the control group would have been helpful. Anyway, moving on with the experiment, I gave all 24 a second coat of pure strong tone and it seemed to adhere much better, though still with a little more pooling that I am accustomed to.
I was reasonably happy with the leathers, but felt that a little variation to break up the wall of brown would not go amiss. A very light drybrush with a leather brown colour added a little extra definition on the quivers, belts and jerkins. Again, in retrospect, this maybe should have been done all over the models prior to the wash. Then I mixed up a brown and black wash, with a spot of matt varnish, to pick out the boots and other leather areas. The idea here is to add some variation to the browns. On some models I painted the belts, on others the jerkins, and all the boots got this darker tone. It's a quick step that really pays off in adding some tonal variety, as hopefully the photo illustrates.
The next step is to decide on the colours of the remaining cloth areas - the sleeves, trousers,cloaks and kilts. Yes, kilts. After spending a few days break in Scotland, I was really inspired by the history and colours of highland warriors, so I will be browsing the web for inspiration.