The Maghariba Guard is one of those "miniatures" (quotes required due to the size of the thing!) that I'd lusted after as soon as I saw the first concept art back in August of 2014. Not only would it be a T.A.G. I'd be able to pick up for my Haqqislam army, but it was vicious and very unique looking. Fast forward to this year and as soon as I saw it available to pre-order I jumped at the chance.
Assembling and Getting Started
The first big challenge was figuring out how all the myriad parts and pieces fit together into a coherent model. After getting that sorted, though, it quickly became apparent that I'd need to paint Maggie in several pieces, assembling her as I went. While frequently necessary, I'm really not a fan of having to do this. I find I can get very impatient and will often wind up gluing on an arm or a leg just before I really should, discovering flaws or areas that require improvements within minutes of the glue setting. So, I assembled what parts I could, gave everything a good spray primer and off to painting.
Painting a big lass like Maggie was engaging at first, but after the third leg, I have to admit it got a bit tiring. Without an airbrush handy, there was a lot of brushwork. I also discovered that, until I could glue her to her base, I was having to hold and manipulate the miniature itself quite a bit and grew very concerned about touching and rubbing against already-painted parts. This probably exacerbated my impatience about gluing and assembling her!
Still, with all of the big flat surfaces, I had plenty of opportunity to practice my blending once the base painting was done. I stuck to a relatively simple scheme with two main shades of green with some blue highlights. As I've painted these blends many times on my other Haqq models, I had the paint recipe all set so it was good to just work on getting the blends as smooth as I could.
In addition to being the biggest mini I've painted yet, Maggie was also the first one where I wanted to try out adding some battle damage. I've seen some phenomenal paint jobs done with serious battle damage, but I thought I'd start off small, no rust or paint chipping, but a few nicks and scratches around the piece. It's remarkably hard to look at a nice smooth blend and then commit to painting a dark blue/green line right across the middle! I think that now that I've taken that leap of faith, and been pleased with the results, it's something I'll be more comfortable doing on more models in the future.
Since working on the tattoos for my Bushido Silvermoon, Manu and Fitiaumua, I've grown fond of doing little freehands. Frequently the Infinity models themselves are so detailed that there's not a huge amount of space to add too much freehand work, certainly not to the degree that is possible on my Silvermoon. However, with Maggie's increased size and abundant flat surfaces I decided to add the occasional embellishment. In some cases it was just the double white stripe that appears on her legs and down the center of her tail, but in others I've added an insignia, some identification codes and other little diagonal lines and visual highlights.
On the Table
After all that painting, you can bet I was eager to deploy her with the rest of my Haqq troops and get her into the action on the table. I've had the chance to use her in two games now and have been more than pleased with her performance. The simple fact that I've faced off against many T.A.G.s in Infinity, but have never had one of my own has made this a very satisfying experience! Watching my opponent need to devote a considerable amount of orders and/or troops trying to make a dent in Maggie's thick hull is a nice payoff after the weeks of painting.
I've been fielding the 360-degree visor variant, so she's a few more points cost than the standard model. So far, that hasn't come into play much, but in my first game it did make my opponent think twice about where to deploy his drop troops knowing that there was no way to sneak up on the big T.A.G.
Even with the 360 visor's increased cost however, Maggie is still relatively cheap for a T.A.G. so that leaves me with plenty of room for some of my other favorites in a 300 point list.The list I've played her in includes both Saladin and a Hassassin Fiday as well. Saladin's Strategos L3 ability allows me to hold two models in reserve which means I can hold back the large scorpion tank as well as my impersonating assassin until after my opponent has completely deployed - two rather nasty models to have to deal with!
…yes, Maggie was great to paint and I'm very pleased with the result, but I do believe she'll also see plenty of time on the table!