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Final Thoughts on the Inner Circle

Greetings readers! I am back for my final installment of the series I have been writing on GW’s Inner Circle event. I started down this road what feels like a lifetime ago, with grand schemes of what I hoped to accomplish.

Final Thoughts on the Inner Circle

I didn’t win my local event, and I only scored 330 points. But I learned several lessons that I can pass along that will help you win your next painting contest. I know I’ll be using some of these!

Lesson 1: Paint to the Rubric

All painting contests should have a rubric to let you know what you are going to get scored on and how many points each item was worth. If they don’t, they really need to have one.

Thunderwolf Cavalry by Ben Dake

Once you get your hands on the rubric, really see where you can maximize your point output. The Inner Circle event, for example, awarded extra points for units that had 10 or more models in them or more than 3 models for larger models. I had exactly zero points in this category. While I had the maximum number of units, I didn’t do myself any favors by having less than I needed for extra points.

In my original plan, I had units that met this requirement. Which brings me to my next lesson learned.

Lesson 2: Plan your time carefully

When I started on this journey, my expectations for what I was going to have painted for this event were sky-high.

Some were met, some were not.

Knight Titan for the Inner Circle

In the time between deciding to participate and being judged, there were days when I simply didn’t paint anything. And I should have. This would have saved me a lot of headaches and arguing at the end of this whole process. Had I more effectively planned my time, I could have spent more time with my family and working on commissions while working on my Inner Circle Event.

More happiness all around.

Lesson 3: Build an actual display board

This is a part that I gave very low priority to. I should have given it more attention.

Belisarius Cawl by Ben Dake

My display was literally a 2×2 piece of foam (unpainted) with some unpainted Citadel terrain placed on it. Really embarrassing, truthfully. Just throwing some sand on it and painting it to match my bases would have made the overall presentation exponentially better.

Space Wolf Bikers

The ones I have seen, not only in my own GW store but on the event’s Facebook page, are absolutely gorgeous. I will definitely be working on this between now and June 24 when I travel to my first tournament in Atlanta, GA.

Closing Thoughts

Y’all, I really enjoyed this event and I hope that comes across in this article. The creativity and excitement I saw on display from all over the continent was nothing short of amazing.

Saint Celestine by Ben Dake

For me personally, I very nearly have every model I own painted, which is a very big deal. I also recommend that if you’ve never entered into a painting competition, give it a try! The deadline will motivate you to get things done and before you know it, you will look back and have accomplished a lot.

This community is one of the best hobby communities to be a part of, and people will be more than happy to share their knowledge with you. For years I told myself “no, never” when it came to being active in the community. However, I have no regrets about becoming more active, and I don’t think you’ll have any regrets either.

If you want to get more active, but painting isn’t your thing, that’s okay too! Send me an email at and we can talk about getting your army together and painted for the battlefield, hobby contests, or any other use you may have for them!