I'd try not to be too indimidated by the models. Firstly I'd ignore the level of artwork in the books as the people that paint up to that standard are few and far between. I always advocate a fairly basic approach to painting as it can still produce good looking minatures and requires the minimum amount of painting skill. I usualy pick a couple of colors and use those through out my team producing a strong unified look to the team (my Holy Empire team are all done with deep purple garments and white armour with gold trim which looks pretty kick ass IMO)
I always start with a quick look at the model. Decide what parts are going to be painted what. What parts are robes (and therefore purple) what parts are armour (and therefore white) and what parts are going to be picked out in gold. The next step is a black undercoat followed by a couple of layers of dark purple on the areas which need it. The parts that will be white are given a couple of layers of light grey followed by a couple of layers of white. Recesses are left black to provide quick depth to the model. Weapons are then painted silver with the details then picked out in gold. Boots and leather are done in dark brown. Lastly skin is done as brown followed by a layer of dark pink and then light pink. Eyes are then picked out with a tiny stroke of white and a tiny line of black horizontaly for the pupil.
While the model will look a bit flat it should still look pretty good and if you are going to be playing with them on a regular basis then it's probably all you'll need, especialy as they are probably going to get handled and bash about a bit over time. Over the time I've been painting I've pretty much got my technique down so I can paint up to a decent standard without having to go into the more advanced techniques. All of what I've learnt has been me sitting down and actually painting; finding out what works for me and refining my technique over time.
One thing that I would say is never be afraid to simplify things. My best example is the Janus Faith model I'm curerently working on. I looked at all of the gold detailing on the model and was like 'wow that looks awesome' when it came to actually going it myself I saw that it was going to be a bit outside of what I was capable of. Therefore I simply just did the whole thing in white with the recesses left in grey and it still looks really good to my eyes. My main tip though is that practice makes perfect and you can only learn by actualy picking up a paint brush and having a go!