I actually got into painting minis around 2008 when a friend got me into Warmachine. I painted up a few Khador minis, but they were pretty rudimentary. I stopped playing Warmachine for awhile (man that game is expensive) and thus didn't paint anything for a long time. Enough so that when I started to paint again in 2014, it was like I was starting over. I'd never heard of Reaper until then, and my then-roommate had backed Bones 1. I had lots of minis to practice on, as he mostly likes owning minis and has no patience to paint them himself. Bones II only added to what I had to work with, and I was able to back Bones III myself, and have bought a small batch of 20 minis for myself. I'd like to eventually work up to the point where the games I run (D&D 5E), I use solely Reaper minis that I've painted, since my main interest is in painting them for myself and for use in games. I doubt I'll enter them into competitions or anything any time soon, but never say never!
I'm also working up the courage to try and start basing.