1. I am interested in getting imperial assault and painting the miniatures. is it hard to paint IA?
2. I have never painted miniatures. how do I get started? and were do you get supplies?
3. I also thought about getting into star trek hero clix but have no idea how the game actually plays
#1 I don't think they are any harder to paint than standard 27/32mm miniatures.
#2 I would suggest watching some tutorials and maybe even attending a painting workshop at a local store or convention. You also might want to buy a basic paint set and some miniatures you don't care about to practice your technique on.
#3 I wouldn't bother with Star Trek Tactics (the ones with the click bases) You might want to look into Star Trek Attack Wing instead.