I painted miniatures when I was a kid, and now that I'm getting back into the hobby I find that it's changed a bit. There's a lot more plastic miniatures, which are built of many pieces rather than the one-piece or few-pieces models that metal afforded. So building theses plastic models is more like building a plastic kit. It's more work, but it has advantages: the figures are easier to modify and they are lighter, so they store more easily with less damage: pile them together and they don't break each other.
The availability of resin casting has made a lot of garage kits available, too. There seem to be a ton of small-run, unusual figures available now. Here's one site that can guide you to a number of them: http://www.coolminiornot.com/
Some that I liked were this squat-bodied dwarf with an impressive beard, a pipe, and some nice armor, this odd one called Toxic Girl, and this full-figured adventurer gal (maybe I've been sheltered, but I got a kick out of seeing a figure decked out as a D&D-type adventurer but with the proportions of a real woman).
Ah, and this one: The Travelling Court of the Brownie King, depicting a castle on the back of a dinosaur.