To date, I've entered minis in three competitions & placed well in each. I didn't enter anything in the last competition because I helped judge it. To prevent the same people from winning over & over again the owner established the rule that after your 3rd prize, you have to take a turn as a judge.
It seems fair to me since 1) It spreads around the winnings, which encourages more participation, and 2) the best painters should be the best judges of other minis, since they would be able to recognize skill & degree of difficulty in a mini.
Here are the three minis I've turned in for competitions so far:
Ikit Claw: 1st place
This was for the store's first competition & I went all out. To kick off the Storm of Magic campaign the owner decided to have a WH Fantasy Painting competition. I'd been in a position to enter a mini for judging, so I wanted to show up with something truly impressive. I picked up an Ikit Claw, a new blister of green stuff, & some bits & bobs for a diorama.
As it turns out I was the only person to put that much effort into the mini & base, so I won handily. I ended up taking a Balewind Vortex as my prize (I could've gotten the SoM book or Magewrath Throne), which means I spent about $40 to win a $15 mini.
Daemon Prince: 2nd place
I dialed it back a little for this one. My plan from the start was to use this guy for my Daemon army, so I decided not to make the base too scenic or dynamic to keep from taking attention away from the rest of my army (plus LoS issues). It had a good showing, but the other painters had taken a note from my Ikit Claw mini and stepped up their minis & bases as well. 1st place was an excellent bone-colored Sanguinor with crimson rising above a sea of outstretched, zombie-like, hands.
Either way, I got a new codex out of the deal, so I was happy.
The Deceiver: 1st place
This one I've already covered on the blog, but I'm still a fan of it. The owner made me a deal that if I took on his Deceiver mini he'd waive the entry fee for the painting competition. There were some other really good minis, but I managed to take 1st. So i got a $90 box of Ogres for the cost of some sand, glue, primer, green stuff & paint. Damn good deal if you ask me.
There will be another painting competition coming up in the next month or so, so once it's announced I'll let you know what I'm doing. :D