On his soapbox again...
The last two days, and the last two that I have painted (namely Kharn and this Commissar), have really brought home to me how much I really hate painting metal minis. I appreciate that metal minis have more depth to them, but I really find them a pain to paint and I've yet to paint one that I dont think I could have done a better job of if it had been in plastic.
In interviews, Jack White from the White Stripes always says that one reason why he uses cheap guitars that barely stay in tune is that he likes the idea of struggling against the medium to produce his art. I feel like this about metal minis, but I don't like the struggle. at all. Leaving aside the issue of having to pin large models or that even superglue is not sufficient in some cases, the main issue for me is undercoating. With plastic minis, I can just put on a thinned black layer and then its ready to go. With metal, it's another story. If i put on thinned paint (after washing the mini in hot water and letting it dry) it just doesn't work, staying on in places but not in others. Even when i spray it, i find that the paint still doesnt stick everywhere (there are places on the Commissar where it was beginning to chip off by the second highlight). In fact if you look closely you can see bits of silver shining through on the finished one (or is it just my imagination?!)
The result of all this is that I'm constantly struggling against the mini to get paint to stick and in places paint over cracks rather than do nice detail-y things that I would do with a plastic one.
If anyone has any solutions, I'd love to hear them. I know people who say that they just put an undercoat on, that they have never had a mini chip ever etc etc. A GW employee once told me was the secret was to wash the mini in washing up liquid; that didn't work at all. Another told me to put three layers of spray paint on. I did it and ended up with a mini that looked like the michelin man, albeit black, and I had to spend a day stripping it back. Either that, or could GW pleaaaaaaase release all its minis in plastic??