You'd do better with an Ohm-meter or multi-meter set to Ohms:-
. one meter lead end each on SW and CB terminals, depending on coil make, '12V' coil, meter should display between 3 and 4.4 Ohms; '6V' coil, meter should display between 1.5 and 2.2 Ohms;
. one meter lead in the HT terminal, other meter lead end on each LT terminal in turn, meter should display around 5,000 Ohms;
. one meter lead on the coil case, other meter lead end on each terminal (LT and HT) in turn, meter should display very high (tens of thousands) Ohms or infinity.
coils get warm but with a test light I have nothing if I connect from +/CB to earth. Surely there should be continuity here?
There is, the coils are getting warm.
The points are simply a switch, not a resistance, the coil's the resistance in any ignition circuit. Assuming standard "positive earth", the potential difference (unit Volt) is the same from coil CB to battery
+ve; because the p.d.'s the same, there isn't anything to 'power' the test light bulb. Try connecting your test light between points and battery