When I first started Playing AD&D, very few of my friends in High School had miniatures. I knew they existed, but never had much incentive to use them.
One day, I was invited over to a friend's house to "Paint Minis". None of us had the patience to really do anything intricate, or even to take the time to put down a primer coat. We didn't have all day after all.
I came away from that day with the gift of two miniature figurines that were painted -- messily, but still painted. It was not until many years later that I actively started using miniatures other people supplied, and even later that I decided to start painting them myself.
Here are a few of the minis I've painted in the last five years or so.