Next I prep the dip (warm water soak) and apply it to the figures. I stir it really well and always use an older set of brush. I have the mineral spirits standing by.
The key for me is to apply the Army Painter Quick Shade "dip" varnish really thick in the folds and corners of the mini and then let it run down of the rest of the figure. After 5 minutes or so I remove the excess dip with the mineral spirits (as I explained in my Primus Pilus tutorial). This gives me a lot more control over how I let the varnish dip dry on the mini instead of the recommended shaking off of the excess dip (which not only makes a mess but is to random for my tastes).
I paint the base ground cover after the dip varnish has mostly dried using P3's Hammerfall Khaki as the main layer and then drybrush it with a variety of Vallejo Beige and Yellow Tan paints.
One of my last steps as I finish up the figure is to apply a small stone or two to the base. I have odd shaped talus that I paint grey and then dry brush with straight white to make the small stones really stand out.I ran into my first really bad "frosting" problem when I sprayed them with Army Painter Anti-Shine matte coating on these minis. It was really bad on the Cornicen and the Eagle carrier. I tried a second coat after shaking the can for a very long time, but it was still frosted and white-dotted. After a quick search on the excellent TMP Forums, I found the olive oil solution thread and gave it a go. And it worked...sort of. It looked "oily" of course after I applied it, so I had to re-touch up with liquid matte varnish.
With the potential to ruin a lot of my painting efforts if this happens again, I think I might switch to the paint-on application of Testors Dull Cote liquid matte varnish in the future.