Industry sponsored contests
Some manufactoreurs will organise contests just to showcase their miniatures and leave the art side ... aside. In doing so, rumor has it, some will previledge whatever they have in their newest range ... be it true or not, if you accept to enter such contests then you accept to deal with it, otherwise you're wasting your time, and there are plenty of other independent contest out there.
But of course ...
As you've probably guessed it, I've made most of these mistakes (if not all of them once or on multiple occasions). Life, shit, loss of motivation, loss of focus, procastination, ... all of that happens. And sometimes, you'll want to do something just for the fun of it, and the judges won't get it ... but that shouldn't take the fun out of the hobby ;).