Right then...just a quickie.
I'm going to try to outline why I base and varnish my models as I do - you may have noticed by now that it doesn't always actually look that good; not least on my earlier efforts!
Firstly, basing. I've never relished the idea of basing an army - I find painting the models time-consuming enough and just painting them black or (for a long while) dark green seemed to do a good enough job. However, I figured I ought to try to grow up, and the release of Cities of Death persuaded me that rubble might just be within my grasp. It turns out that it is - just about - within my grasp. I don't like applying it, I don't like basecoating it black, I don't like what drybrushing it does to my brushes (even the old ones!) and I think the end result is - frankly - flat and boring.
BUT it has to be said it's better than the bases staying blank. AND it does make the models look finished. AND it does give them a little more character. AND with a 200+pax army I can't afford to be too fussy. So I guess it works out for the best!
Also, I really like the flashes on the reverse of the bases (see 1Pl HQ medic, below) - it's hard to express just how useful this for identifying units in the field and in storage!
As for the varnish? Well, I do this purely and simply to make the models more hardwearing - especially given the amount of them I'm obliged to store and (sadly not often enough) transport. If it's not painfully obvious, I use spray-on Purity Seal. It also seals the transfers on superbly well.
So there you go!