I apologise for the poor images, my camera is quite pathetic. Though never fear, as my friend has promised to photograph things for me, so at very least, when each unit is finished it will be a decent, high quality photo.
Right, so this is what I'm working with.
Left is the condition we found the models in (they did have bases, but I won't even go there... Suffice to say all bases needed to be replaced). The paint, though you probably can't tell from the photo, is extremely thick (they have been painted at least twice, with no understanding of the concept of paint thinning - a lot of jokes were mad about "paint pot dip painting"), and monotone. Also, plenty of nice scratches and chips all over them. Lucky me. Starting to regret this project already.
Middle is the condition I have managed to get them down to with one go at paint stripping. Whole night in uber strong nail varnish remover, then half hour of running them under a tap and going over them with a tank brush, and we got that. As you can see, it needs another strip dip, because those bits of blue are very firm - getting them off with a knife didn't work. We only had enough "paint stripper" to redo 14 of them, but they came up good as new second time.
The right is what I'm aiming for. I have 6 models at that standard, and the other 8 that are fully stripped are on the way. I'll post again later or tomorow to explain the paint scheme I've chosen, and when I do, I will have a picture of the 6 that are completed. (4 regular troops, a unit chapion, and the boyar, a low level hero).