I started doing a platoon - three squads of eight plus two command (officer and FO). The attached photo shows the method, if not the quality.
First a white gesso undercoat, then a thin black wash, followed by blocking in colours. I'm not trying any camo yet, just an olive green.
In the background you can see hints of how I intend to do the basing to try and get the best of all worlds.
The cloverleaf sabots - a special order from Warbases - take three 15mm round bases. I decided not to go with the 2mm base as well, so that the entire structure isn't 4mm high (base + sabot). That just seems excessive! I've just used thin card stuck on with PVA glue. With the glue and a layer of paint it's pretty sturdy. Each sabot (I also ordered some to take only two bases) is 4cm at its widest. With that shape you can also alternate the bases (point forward, point to the rear) so that the figures look like they're in two contiguous rows, and the average frontage is then about 3cm per base of three, which just happens to be the size that fits with AK47 rules without being stuck with basing 3 on a square base. Success!
... unfortunately the bases don't sit securely in the sabot, so I lose a lot of the benefit of multiple basing. I'm now looking at magnets to see if they will keep the figures securely in the sabot. I've tried 0.5mm flexible magnetic sheeting, but it's not very "sticky" in small amounts, and is a nightmare to glue securely.
I've now ordered some small rare earth magnets (and brass tweezers), with the idea that I glue one in the centre of each hole, and mount the figures on steel washers which will fit over the magnet, and stay secure in there. I am nervous that the magnets might be too strong, and suck entire units into a prickly sphere, but only time will tell.
If it works I'll have the additional benefit that the bases will sit securely inside steel toolbox - as long as the magnets aren't so strong as to tear through the the card of course.