Help support TMP

"Taking Miniatures on Planes" Topic

12 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Storage and Transport Message Board

939 hits since 22 Jan 2016
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

JJMicromegas Inactive Member22 Jan 2016 2:59 a.m. PST

Hello, I am wondering how people have carried their miniatures on planes in the past, I am assuming that checking them in is not a good idea as they will get tossed around, leaving carry-on as the only option.

With carry on however, have you had any problems with the security screening? In our current era of airport security I can't imagine how they will react to a bag full of tiny metal objects, in particular if they are carried by a 30-something male of middle-east origin.

Auspainter Inactive Member22 Jan 2016 3:35 a.m. PST

I've taken a bag of metal LOTR figures through with no problem and once taken a box of FOW metal figures, they asked what the FOW stuff was but it was all good once I showed them. As long as they cant see it being used as a weapon its ok. This is in australia tho im not sure what other countries are like

RobBrennan Inactive Member22 Jan 2016 3:54 a.m. PST

I flown a fair amount for competitions in Europe and they practically always ask to look in your bag with miniatures so have it easy to access.
IMO the key disarming phrase to use is "Toy soldiers".
I have got a lot of compliments on my painting!
I have heard of check-on solutions based on packing around the miniatures in boxes with styrofoam balls by using a plastic bag and a hair-dryer to unpack. Seems like too much effort to me though.

KTravlos Inactive Member22 Jan 2016 4:20 a.m. PST

I have never had an issue with checking them in, but I use chessex boxes when I transport them, and those are beasts. With carry on I have always been stopped and asked to open the bag up. I have never ever been refused entry to a plane with them though.

Personal logo Grelber Supporting Member of TMP22 Jan 2016 5:59 a.m. PST

I once brought two light filters as carry-on, metal cylinders with optical grade calcite "windows" and wires sticking out. I made a point of coming early, and I had photos of the things being disassembled, step by step.

Bring photos of your figures, be cooperative, talk enthusiastically about dry brushing and washes, say "toy soldiers," like Rob says a lot, and the TSP guys will go home and tell their families how lucky they were to escape from the eccentric hobby guy after just 10 minutes!


Private Matter22 Jan 2016 7:02 a.m. PST

I've only had one incident in bringing miniatures on a plane and here is the story: TMP link

Every time pass through Chicago on business I stop at Games Plus in Mt Prospect to add to my collection. Usually they don't bother me but I do travel under TSA Pre-Check.

I would think that RobBrennan and Grelber are offering good advice.

skedaddle Supporting Member of TMP22 Jan 2016 10:32 a.m. PST

I've flown many times with unpainted and painted figs. The best bet for unpainted is to put them in checked luggage. Otherwise unpack them into one of the scan crates and explain that they are toy soldiers.

For painted figs, I unpack my plano boxes and take the lids off. Every time I start the unpack, one of the TSA agents will come up and watch what I'm doing and ask questions. By the time the box enters the machine, everyone is aware and usually very interested in seeing the actual figs. A little time and patience explaining has gotten me through without any problems.

steamingdave4722 Jan 2016 11:27 a.m. PST

Just don't try taking ECW pikemen or Macedonian hoplites through security!

dBerczerk22 Jan 2016 11:42 a.m. PST

Build armies in 6mm.

rmaker22 Jan 2016 12:23 p.m. PST

I've never taken painted miniatures, but I've sure flown back from conventions with newly-bought ones. I usually have them in my carry on and pull out the bag so they are easily seen. Never had any problems. the only comment I ever had was one year I stayed a couple of extra days after Historicon to visit the PA State Railroad Museum and the Strassburg railroad. The TSA inspector noted them and said "I thought all you guys had already left."

nickinsomerset22 Jan 2016 1:17 p.m. PST

Had some 1:300 stuff for training, leaving a certain African nation a member of security tried to chew on one!

Tally Ho!

GamesPoet Supporting Member of TMP23 Jan 2016 3:13 p.m. PST

Ha! Sounds like that TSA inspector had seen multiple guys going back with miniatures … too funny.

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.