FWIW, my best advice for finish and weathering is to have some fairly clear vision of what you want the final model to look like before you even start the kit. Refine that vision as you progress with the build. Anticipate and plan for your finishing and weathering as you build and incorporate any steps possible when they will best contribute to the final outcome.
Don’t think of “finishing” and “weathering” as two separate and distinct stages or processes but rather as parts of a continuum. That continuum is composed of layers that build up, one on top of the others, with each contributing something to your goal.
Once you have a mental image of what you want the model to look like, think backwards through that image to see the layers that have been combined to create it.
On the very top might be a light, very recent dusting that mutes all the colors and blends all the harsh contrasts. That very light dust layer might then be though of as the very last layer of finish to be added. Under that light dust might be heavier dust and dirt layers that have been streaked and blurred under rain and dew and fog, dried into more opaque coatings as gravity has drawn the dirty layers downward.
However, over those streaked layers might be spatters of mud or dirt kicked up. But those spattered areas might themselves have layers of older, dried lighter colors under newer, fresher darker colors. The streaks should possibly be done before the spatters, and the lighter spatters done before the darker ones.
The basic finish color may be lightened from sun fading and ground in dust and dirt, yet it might also show darker areas of the basic color(s) that have been exposed by the action of the crew rubbing the paint down to its original, darker color. All of this is perhaps under the newer, fresher layers of spattered mud, rain streaks, and light, fresh dust. So the basic finish might need to be distressed before any of those effects have been added by starting with a lighter shade and adding perhaps sponge “chipping” with a darker shade of the base color around the hatches and areas where the crew moves and works. Perhaps you’ll want to add those dark smudges or rubbed areas at a later stage, or even repeat them over some intermediate layer.
Oil, fuel and coolant water staining might have their own progressions with the newest effects on the top and the older, perhaps mixed with dust and dirt layers under those. Rings of dirty petroleum products spilled over and over, with the older darker rings on the edges and the newer, fresher, perhaps even clean to the original paint color towards the centers…
And so it goes. A decal or marking that needs to go over a white painted square might suggest that a spot of white paint is airbrushed on as the first painting step, then reverse masked with a square of tape to removed before the decal is applied on top.
Heavy 3D earth textures might be best added as the hull is constructed, but before the suspension components are added so that all the area is accessible. This might further suggest that these areas be painted in dark earth colors at the same time the basic hull colors are painted on.
There’s a logical sequence to create the final look you want, all you have to do is think it through, from the outside to the inside, the top layer to the bottom layer.
Occasionally, I will actually write out a finishing and weathering “plan” to work out the different steps in sequence. This can help with things like reverse masking markings and doing heavy, 3D textures early in the construction process when areas are open and accessible. It also helps to enable you to see places where you might want to deviate from your “normal” finishing and weathering processes and try something new or different.
So, sure, I do have a “personal” finishing and weathering “style” that does generally flow in a sequence that repeats somewhat project to project. However, I don’t tie myself to that sequence. I usually have some (often research based) idea of how I want a particular model to look when it’s done, though, and I make at least a mental plan of the finishing and weathering steps to get there along with a clear idea of when and where I’ll need to start those steps (even very early in the basic construction).
Also techniques and materials should be considered as if they’re a collection of tools that you can take out and use depending on the desired result. There are no “mandatory” must always use techniques or materials, and there are no “must always follow” sequences.