I've had a fear of painting big models for a long time. The big model is the centerpiece of the army and therefore will be viewed and scrutinized far more than the average skeleton in your horde (who cares if you missed part of the foot, the next one over is "perfect"). I've also held the thought that since it's the centerpiece it should be painted last, just like heroes should be painted after the battle line units and such nonsense.
Another big part of it was the, for me, huge undertaking of painting a big model. The first one I painted was a old metal Stegadon that I dropped minutes after finishing it. It shattered on impact with the ground and chipped the paintwork. I'm not sure I ever got it back together again, I know for a fact that I never fixed the chipping. Between that and the next model I'd like to adress I've painted a few big models. All of them have been tanks, Rhinos, a Leman Russ battle tank and a Chimera Troop Transport to be more precise. Painting a fairly square and solid tank vs painting something more detailed was a huge difference and I think I never created the mental barriers between me and tanks as I've done with other big models.
Until just before this summer I had never painted a fantasy model bigger than a Knight after that Stegadon. With some "encouragement" of my partner ("I don't think you should buy more until you paint the two big ones in the bookshelf") I started on the coven throne. It was a pretty bad choice for someone with my struggles. I had no idea how to tackle it and since I prefer to play rather than paint I had glued it onto the base, making it a lot harder for me to paint it. I struggled with finding a good enough level and constantly went over and fixed small areas where I messed up or missed something. The detail level of the model is also not trivial and there are lot of different surfaces and textures to it. An ambitious model which make it a really bad starting model for someone that struggles with finishing a normal skeleton... It took quite a while (we are talking weeks) and nearly burned me out but it got done. And for my standars it looks pretty good. What I didn't realize was how much of a boost painting it would give me. I finished up most of my started units, 9 spirit hosts, 5 hex wraiths, 10 skeletons, a vampire lord and a necromancer, before I packed all of it away for a few months. Life, and Dungeons and Dragons got "in the way" of painting.
It really wasn't until the previous week that I found how much of a difference it had done. I started painting Neferata and in two evenings I've almost finished her mount. I sidetracked a bit, painted two more of my Splintered Fang warband and 10 dire wolves but painted one or more colours on the mount every night. Then I played a game Friday and got in my head that I should play Beast of Chaos in my next game, probably this Friday. Since I had not finished more than the test model for the army I fetched my 10 started Ungors and my Ghorgon. I happily painted the entire Ghorgon in one sitting... I've loathed painting for more than a few hours at a time but this time I spent 6 and a half hours finishing it. It feels like there is no barrier to sitting down and painting any more, the only thing I lack is time at home, by myself. While this fear of painting big models might have been part of why I wasn't getting things done before the spreadsheet I've made to track progress is probably even more important. It's a constant reminder to finish things and continue pushing for the next "milestone". The Gamification of the painting process have also been really important and I'll expand on it some day.
The Ghorgon isn't the best, but that has never been my target. I've always been content with finished to the standard I've set for the army. I'm 13 models away from fielding my first ever painted army for any system with the Legion of Blood coming in at 2000p and after a year of owning them I'e finally gotten started on my Beasts. To say that I'm happy with my current progress is an understatement.
Sorry for the potato quality photo but it's the only one I got at the work computer ^^