I have been painting figures & statues for about 35 years now and actually perfected a way of painting plaster Greek Columns to look like authentic marble.
In 1988 I hand painted a 2 foot tall Carousel Horse for my former fiancee. The project involved puting on a dark coating first, painting the horse in a variey of carnival type colours, spraying on protective coating, then painting it with antiquing only to wipe it off. The antiquing fills in the crevices and gives it that old look. Lastly, I applied a special Cracking Varnish to give it that Antique Carousel Horse look complete with crackled paint.
Add to that my many hand painted 70mm soldiers that I gave away as gifts over the years. Each Napoleonic figure was thoroughly researched first through my extensive military library and any special attachments like musket straps & Shako cords were each made by hand.