I generally do figure prep (taking off moldlines and flash) and basic basing in fairly large batches, prime the whole batch, then tuck most of them away and bring them back out 5-10 at a time for painting.
It’s a good system for me; it gets the gruntwork of cleaning and prepping done efficiently, but avoids the “Primered Legions” paralysis I get from having hordes of unpainted figures staring at me from the corners of my painting bench. Instead they’re out of sight in in a spare figure case, to be brought out in small enough batches to actually paint.
This evening’s batch is pretty close to typical, and an amusing snapshot of the breadth of my current interests. We’ve got (deep breath) a dozen RCW Red Russian infantry (Copplestone & Brigade), 10 US Navy gunboat sailors, 4 light deck guns (all Pulp Figures), 4 Sasquatch/Yeti/Missing Link giant ape-men (Pulp Figures & Strange Aeons/Uncle Mike’s Worldwide), 6 adventurers/spies/agents (more Pulp Figures) and finally 2 cringing captives (Pulp again!).
Just to round out the batch, six 28mm Reaper dwarves, because man cannot paint on pulp alone!
All cleaned up with knife and file, superglued to pennies (mostly) and awaiting Milliputt to complete the basing, then a wash and a date with the grey primer. Putty on bases tomorrow, maybe, then primer over the weekend. Then more real painting!