Yeah, it sounds likes odd topic, doesn't it?
But I feel that we, as figure painters, can learn more from our most difficult and annoying miniatures than from the easy ones. I'm talking specifically about those that are hard to assemble (or stay assembled).
For me, the Zombie Troglodyte from the old D&D Chainmail game and Labith, Spider Centaur from Reaper Miniatures.
I actually don't have the Zombie Troglodyte anymore. I bought it probably around the year 2000, back when I was still a novice to the painting hobby. It proved to be a pain in the butt. The body itself was fully intact. But each of its tiny arms was separate, as was its hands holding the axe. Somehow you had to line up both arms with the hands on the axe handle just perfectly.
The tiny arms kept falling off. I'd get them aligned just right only to realize I'd superglued my finger to the miniature, or when I'd tried to attach the arms to the hands I'd push just a little to hard an arm would pop off. I eventually gave up.
About a year ago I found the Zombie Troglodyte, super-glue encrusted parts and all, got mad and threw it away. (Only when assembling certain units of Warhammer figures has brought me more ire).
I don't regret throwing the miniature away, even though I'd figured out a solution to the problem.
That solution came when assembling the Labith miniature.
She was about as frustrating. Where the legs attached to the body gave me the most problems. I had learned much earlier that at times superglue just doesn't quite cut it. With this figure, the legs kept falling off. I'd attach one, only to have another come loose. I was reluctant to use pins, because there wasn't enough metal to drill into where the legs attached to the body.
Had I known about the superglue/green stuff combo over 12 years ago, the Zombie Troglodyte might not have given me such trouble.
Then again, those tiny parts--pins were out of the question. And who knows? Had I tried the combo, I'd probably have both green stuff and superglue stuck to my fingers.
So, what was your most difficult figure to assemble? How did you do it? What new techniques did you learn?