How the hell do you paint white so smoothly??! When ever I try to paint white it looks terrible.
Professional secret. But no, seriously, I just spray prime 'em white, and I have a steady hand and a good liner that I use to shade them. There are occasions when I do have to paint white from a black undercoat, but it's usually when the majority of the model is covered in robes and whatnot that are going to be green-- in those cases, I just work up from a blue-grey, and use several (read: five or six) thin layers instead of one or two gloppy ones.
GW washes may be pretty fantastic, but they're not for targeted shading. Reaper makes a triad of liners in their Master Series line-- a Grey Liner, a Blue Liner, and a Brown Liner. All three are awfully close to black, but in the case of the blue and brown, there's a subtle hint of coldness (in the case of the blue) or warmth (in the case of the brown). I use the grey liner on my infantry, and I use the blue liner on my vehicles around the rivets and whatnot, since it seems to have a more "painted cold steel" look, if that makes sense. They're made so you have an absurd amount of control over them while they're still incredibly thin. They're not inks, and they're not washes... I'm not really sure what they are. But, they work. Nothing too profound or unusual, really... there's hardly enough to make a tutorial out of, which is why I haven't done it.