View Full Version : Transporting Armies

13-04-2009, 19:37
So I had a question for those out there who might be experienced with transporting your armies to games / tourneys further away from home than a drive. I was curious how you went about it - how you packed them, do you carry them on the plane or ship them in advance? How do you protect them for the travel?

On the one hand, I'm not sure I could fit an army into a carry-on-sized case and the thought of putting a case through airport security filled with small lead objects that are sure to scan up very interesting on an xray seems like there would be some special effort required to manage. So I'm curious as to how people have done it in the past and what you recommend.

Thanks in advance!

13-04-2009, 19:52
not to hijack this thread, but i have some odd transportation circumstances as well, and any suggestions would be helpful.

i have a horde army and a motorcycle: discuss.

13-04-2009, 20:03
My friends and I are building custom transports. 1/4" foam, Tagboard, and 1 1/2" "pull apart" foam. You can pick these things up from various websites that handle foam packing materials.

My one friend wants them for his "Christmas O&G" army. He is going to make his army transport boxes wrapped packages with bows and everything. So obviously he needs customer trays to fit.

My other friend is using them for Battletech models so he can use a nice tool box he found to transport his army in security.

I have a nice case that mostly works for my elves, but I have Ogres as well, and they don't fit very well in most cases, so I am going to build one of my own with custom trays.

We all chipped in together to buy it in volume and my share for the trays comes to $28. I am debating on finding the right lockable storage container, or simply building one out of wood, so depending on which route will determine further costs. What I have in mind will be a LOT more sturdy than most of the bags/cases out there. Those Ogre pieces done in metal are HEAVY and more than willing to crush everything else. ;)

13-04-2009, 20:21
I only transport mine in a car; never on a train/plane.

I use a Skirmish or Scout Pack from Charon. I am very happy with both.

13-04-2009, 20:22
I'm primarily interested in the special circumstances surrounding moving the armies on an airplane - I have a VERY good transport case that I picked up that was originally meant to carry a telescope so it's a solid box with metalbanding and full of foam trays that I custom-made: but it's LARGE and would have to be checked. It's also covered in metal banding and would be filled with lead figures, so I'm fairly terrified of handing it over to an airline to move around.

What do folks generally do to avoid these terrors? Are there special fragile-packing tricks? Ways to flag the contents? Any experiences people have with carrying figs on aircraft are very welcome.


Avatar of the Eldar
13-04-2009, 20:32
For the tourneys I've flown to, I've used my Sabol Army Transport tucked into a canvas tote back that covers the shame of ARMY TRANSPORT in big block letters.

I've taken this as one of two carry on bags.

Given what those TSA apes have done to my wife's luggage ("lost" all of her writing journals in a routine search with no accountability or satisfactory response) I would NEVER check my models.

If your case is too big to carry on, I would suggest you consider getting your gear down carry on size - split between two if needs be.

Check out the new bags/custom cut foam on Battle Foam's website. Sexy and priced well for the quality. But admittedly a high end solution.

13-04-2009, 20:52
Just checked out Battle Foam's site - definitely pricy, but looks like a solid option. Thanks!

Anyone else have tips for taking armies on planes?

BTW, the biggest issue I'm going to be up against is that I play High Elves, so this is going to entail packing a dragon. :/

13-04-2009, 21:53
I went to a LotR GT a couple of years back, and I brought the army suitcase with me in the cabin. Thankfully it all fit into one case, and it was pretty much an all-plastic army. A friend of mine got some close scruitny from the airport security guys once, though: He had a Tyranid army with several long metal claws. But it turned out allright.

Anyway, here's a couple of practical tips:

If you have room in your case, check if any of your mates has some surplus miniatures they need transported. At the aforementioned LotR trip, we shared each others case space and got away with a lot fewer cases than we'd need if each of us had to carry all their own miniatures.

Working at an airport, I know that checked luggage is handled pretty roughly. It gets tossed around a lot, so I wouldn't check in miniature cases, especially if you have a lot of multi part models that are prone to break.

If you want to take the case with you on the plane, make sure there's no long pointy metal parts in it. This used to be worse before, but now knitting pins are allowed, so I guess a Hive Tyrant or whatever would be too. Still, working security you end up with all kinds of stuff that falls outside the defined parameters, so it's up to the individual security guy, so it's best not to take any chances.

Finally, be careful with large metal models, because they'll create a "shadow" on the x-ray machine so there's a good chance they'll want to unpack the miniatures to inspect the case visually. Bear that in mind when packing it, make it easy to unpack to limit the damage an overzealous inspector might cause.

If you got spesific questions about airport security regulations regarding what you can bring with you, I can answer those.

14-04-2009, 01:53
I own an Army Transport Divison case. Usually I just drive my armies to tournaments, however they have made it through one trip unscathed on a plane

15-04-2009, 17:57
Thank you all for your feedback - it's appreciated.

15-04-2009, 22:03
I believe this has been discussed here some years back... I believe there were a few people who didn't have good experiences with checked baggage. On the other hand, as Makaber says, having long sharp metal things with you might also cause troubles.

Roadtrip time maybe? Or go by ship, if there's an ocean?

But I can tell you, I would never, ever, part with my case when I would go somewhere far. I'd rather hire my own plane.