I can't/don't paint;

I don't really consider a coat of satin varnish to be a "pro" move. Its something I wish I'd known about when I first started painting. Some washes and contrast paints come out seriously glossy and for a new painter this can be super frustrating. The added benefit of protecting your minis means IMO its a great habit to get into from the start.

I get that its an extra step and if contrast paints weren't on the menu I wouldn't suggest it. Personally I don't think contrast paints are a good idea for new painters. They are a bit of a trap that can give some seriously dubious results if not applied well, and learning regular techniques first is a better idea IMO.
I dunno, I convert a lot and paint a little. But all my little kitbashed people... I can take or leave painting. I like seeing all the materials is something like this, I like the record of how they were made. That doesn't mean much to my opponents, and a lot of my recent kitbashing has been done in the digital world for 3d printing and doesn't show up on the final mini. But for the real, physical kitbashes, I don't like them painted any more than unpainted. 'It's not from a box, see? Look at all the bits, they're from all sort of places. It's mine, it's the only one'
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Interestingly, I like the opposite @ntw3001, when a primer is applied seeing it all come together and be one.

But I can totally get the frustration if you’ve put 100 hours into converting a model from several kits and done loads of Greenstuff and modifications and then once painted… People think it’s a stock model.

Saying that… could also be a compliment. 🤷🏻‍♂️

@Punktaku post a model photo or two to show off what you mean. Most of us know what your style is but the OP might not have seen any yet.