View Full Version : Transporting minis...cross country.

04-01-2007, 04:07
So I am considering the GT in Vegas in June. Problem is, I live in Boston. Has anyone tried to take an army through an airport? I am a little hesitant to check in my army transport case with all of my Sisters of Battle.

Lord Humongous
04-01-2007, 04:39
I've done it, but it was pre 9/11. I just brought my mini case as carry-on. I had all metal minis, most of them pretty big; they searched it by hand, not with x-ray. I only had one case, about the size of one of the new "custom" GW cases.
You could call the airport and ask security if that would be an issue these days. If you explain they are hand-painted collectibles, you may get some sympathy.

If not, a good hard-sided mini case packed inside a suitcases (with clothes for support) really should be enough. Even if you have a soft-side (like Army Transport) you could just pack it in a cardboard shipping box, surrounded with peanuts. Mini cases tend to do their jobs very well, and baggage doesn't really see any extreem abuse, just basic tumbling and stacking.

04-01-2007, 05:18
I've flown with my models twice now. In 02 I went to GD Baltimore flying out of Seattle. I was more than a little concerned after years of hearing the horror stories of how checked baggage is treated. I packed my models in thier case and put it in my checked bag surrounded by clothes. These were entries for the Golden Demon so I was pretty concerned with them making it damage free. Of the 5 entries I brought the only damage was a broken banner pole on my dread. This was actually my fault with the way that I positioned the model in the foam. But it was easily fixed with the stuff I brought to fix any damage.

Last year I flew to GD LA and I decided to take my models as carry on. I was worried that some overzealous security personal would have a fit with my grey knight since he had a sword. I put them through the x-ray machine and the person looking at the screen asked if they were models and I told them yes, they were. That satisfied them and they didn't even open up the case. The same was true at the Ontario airport, but since GDLA was in Ontario I'm sure they saw more than a few people with models coming through.

04-01-2007, 06:43
With Metal Miniatures, just plan on security taking longer, and make sure you can open the case easily.

The last time I took a plane while carrying miniatures was in 2000 and security took one look at the X-ray and thought shrapnel (Almost got arrested). Since then security has gotten more causious.

If the security personel are familiar with miniature gaming you will be through quickly. If they are not, do not get angry with them because that will make them even more paranoid.

04-01-2007, 06:53
I always bring mine carry on. I dont trust "throwers".

I havent had problems with security yet just some wierd looks. But that might have been me.

Just be honest with them if they ask.

However I did hear a story of people carrying drugs inside sealed landraiders and vehicles. But its more then likely bogus you have to have a real set of balls to try that crap in this day and age.

04-01-2007, 07:29
However I did hear a story of people carrying drugs inside sealed landraiders and vehicles. But its more then likely bogus you have to have a real set of balls to try that crap in this day and age.

...balls or be entirely and completely cynic or just stupid.

I have heard a real story about a guy who had his Chaos army transported from USA to Poland. Everything was beautifully painted. When it arrived maybe 1/10 of it survived the trip.

04-01-2007, 07:34
Thats why I always go carry on. Its less then 3 feet from you at all times.

04-01-2007, 23:42
I once heard a story about a sadistic overzealous security guard who attempted to crack open miniatures(tanks and guardsmen!) to check for drugs and/or explosives being smuggled inside. When the guy explained to him how much the things cost and how long it took to put them into proper condition, the gaurd backed down, but he wasn't happy about it.

05-01-2007, 17:18
Airport baggage handlers just plain scare the crap out of me. One of the biggest problems is that they can destroy your models and you get *nothing* for it.

If you can't bring them carry-on, I *highly* suggest you ask if it's possible to have someone search the case, then padlock it. All it takes is one ****** to jumble all your minis around and re-close the case, and things will break.

Before I took assembled/painted minis on a plane, if I couldn't go carryon, I would instead put the case in a box and ship it to where I'm going via FedEx or UPS, insured. They won't even open the box, and even if they do, if they break it they pay you for it.

Next-day service for a large package can be expensive, but you can always send it out a day early using 2-day shipping to make it cheaper. Make sure you call the hotel and tell them to expect the package, and approximately when you'll be showing up to pick it up.

I'll put my trust in FedEx or UPS waaaaaaaaaaaay before I'll trust airport security to handle my models.

06-01-2007, 14:33
I put less stock in UPS than the airlines, but then I used to work for UPS. :)

I've used my cases (Delux Skirmishpack) as both checked and carry on luggage. The strength and dimensions are amenable to both methods of travel. As to customs I have had to explain what the figures are and open the case on occasion, but I haven't had any problems with US or Canadian customs.

06-01-2007, 16:09
I alway take them carry-on. I did get held up at Security in Brasil for about 20 minutes though. The security guard had me open the case to see what was inside. I explained that I painted these guys and so he called all the other guards at the terminal over to look at the figures. It took about 20 minutes for them to reopen security to let other people get to their flights as all the guards were talking about wargaming and trying to understand what it was that I did, as well as how cool it looked.

06-01-2007, 16:18
Maybe one day we should have a 'spread wargaming around the world' flight. And take all of our wargaming stuff carry on and see if we can't achieve a similar effect.

Slaaneshi Slave
06-01-2007, 16:30
Its time like this I wish I was an Ork, so I could build a model teleporta. :p

06-01-2007, 16:38
Except you'd probably end up bollock naked at John O'Groats rather than your intended destination:D .

Carry on is the better option really, and as long as you're aimiable, co-operative and patient with scanning, then you shouldn't have any problems, ringing in advance wouldn't hurt though.

Slaaneshi Slave
06-01-2007, 17:02
Bollock naked at Jogn O'Groats, oh good memories. :p