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Unread 06-18-2013, 12:18 AM   #1
erickste
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Air Travel w/Props

Hey guys, I've got a question or two to ask. So my friends and I are going to Dragon*Con in August ( PUMMMPPPED ) and I will be cosplaying as a Little Sister from the Bioshock series. I fully intended on constructing the ADAM syringe, this prop right here:

http://www.cosplayisland.co.uk/files...ter_Needle.png

It is based off of an old gas pump nozzle with some odds and ends here and there, with most of it containing some form of metal. None of this would be a big deal except, this is my first time flying with cosplay; I have driven otherwise, but it's not in the cards this time. SO, with a metal AND sharp object in mind, I am now questioning the safety of trying to pack this in my suitcase.

Have any of you had any issues trying to transport props in your suitcase, anything that was questionable that you thought probably shouldn't be tried out through security? I really wanted it to be legit, but I don't want it to be tossed out and I don't want to look like a felon if they try digging through my stuff. Do I just trash the idea and try making it out of non-metal materials and hope it's fine? Thanks for the help, guys!
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Unread 06-18-2013, 08:38 AM   #2
Okeado
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Getting that through Atlanta maybe or may not be fun. Is there anyway you can dissemble it partially before you put it in the luggage?
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Unread 06-18-2013, 08:41 AM   #3
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Could you ship it before hand?
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Unread 06-18-2013, 08:48 AM   #4
LadyCrankypants
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You'll probably be fine making the main body out of metal, but you won't want to make the "needle" sharp and/or metal if you can avoid it - not just for air travel, but also because most conventions have strict weapon/prop rules and probably won't allow a sharp metal needle prop through the door. In a pinch a small wooden dowel would do fine as a base, but I would look about for something that would be durable and flexible so if it pokes someone, it won't hurt OR break.

For travel, you'll want to make the "needle" portion removable, that way it won't break or damage anything in your luggage.
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Unread 06-18-2013, 11:39 AM   #5
erickste
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyCrankypants View Post
You'll probably be fine making the main body out of metal, but you won't want to make the "needle" sharp and/or metal if you can avoid it - not just for air travel, but also because most conventions have strict weapon/prop rules and probably won't allow a sharp metal needle prop through the door. In a pinch a small wooden dowel would do fine as a base, but I would look about for something that would be durable and flexible so if it pokes someone, it won't hurt OR break.

For travel, you'll want to make the "needle" portion removable, that way it won't break or damage anything in your luggage.
Oh, of course I was going to use a dowel--I'm not going to poke or prod anyone with an actual needle! I was just mainly concerned about the fact that it might show up on the x-ray as 'questionable', especially since it's metal, and there will be a vessel with liquid attached to it. I was thinking about ways I could assemble it so that the 'needle' can come on and off.

I haven't made this yet, I just have the handle, but I didn't want to get started on it until I knew for sure if it'd make clearance or not. I do suppose though, if I'm not entirely sure, I could email the airline direct and ask?
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Unread 06-18-2013, 12:08 PM   #6
Swiftstart
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im assuming the liquid will just be water with food coloring?
I'd say have the vessel empty during travel and fill/mix it when you get there
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Unread 06-18-2013, 02:21 PM   #7
Okeado
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You got time, you need to ship that thing.
It's ridiculous how many violations that thing looks like it has, dude.I live in Atlanta and I've flown enough to know what can get by or not. Dragon Con is also uber strict on weapon, so you might want to make it look less pointy as they said above.
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Unread 06-18-2013, 02:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erickste View Post
Oh, of course I was going to use a dowel--I'm not going to poke or prod anyone with an actual needle! I was just mainly concerned about the fact that it might show up on the x-ray as 'questionable', especially since it's metal, and there will be a vessel with liquid attached to it. I was thinking about ways I could assemble it so that the 'needle' can come on and off.
You had me just a little worried with the "sharp" comment, I was thinking "If it's sharp you won't make it into con!" I would just make it so you can remove the needle and remove the vial, then store it in your checked bag. That way you won't have to worry about security, and you won't have to worry about it damaging anything (or being damaged) in your bag.
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Unread 06-21-2013, 11:24 AM   #9
erickste
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Hmm...well thanks guys for the tips! Chances are, I may or may not make this, just to play it safe, even though it would be SO awesome to have. I don't think I really have the hands-on skills to make the real deal anyway, but yes, Swiftstart, you're right, I think it would raise even more questions if I had the vial already filled. I was just planning it to be jelly or hair gel with water and food coloring. But security wouldn't know that, they'd probably confiscate it all. WELL, we'll see what I end up doing, but to be on the safe side, perhaps this prop might have to wait for a drive-to con. Thanks again!
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Unread 06-21-2013, 05:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erickste View Post
Hmm...well thanks guys for the tips! Chances are, I may or may not make this, just to play it safe, even though it would be SO awesome to have. I don't think I really have the hands-on skills to make the real deal anyway, but yes, Swiftstart, you're right, I think it would raise even more questions if I had the vial already filled. I was just planning it to be jelly or hair gel with water and food coloring. But security wouldn't know that, they'd probably confiscate it all. WELL, we'll see what I end up doing, but to be on the safe side, perhaps this prop might have to wait for a drive-to con. Thanks again!
Don't be discouraged, it's actually a fairly simple prop to make. Volpin has a great write up here. If you decide to follow his process, you can find vintage gas pump handles on ebay.

I know he has addressed flying with various props like, and including, this in one of the blog posts or in some write up but I can't seem to find it now. He is also Atlanta based, and as such has gone through security at Hartsfield and Dragon Con. It may be worth shooting him a message or email to get some tips based on his experiences.

Aside from that, just use common sense. Don't fill the jar beforehand, disassemble the prop as much as you can, blunt the needle tip as much as you can without ruining the look, pack it securely but don't make it look like you're trying to hide anything, don't try to take it in a carry on, ect.
If you're still concerned, call the airports ahead of time to speak to security and explain that you will be bringing along some props that could be misconstrued as dangerous by someone inexperienced and that you just want to give them a heads up so as not to cause any problems and to protect your props from potential damage.
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Unread 06-23-2013, 11:08 AM   #11
MiloPhoenix
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My suggestions your best chances to get it through airport security is to have it disassembled and unfilled. For the needle/point thing: have a nut on the inside of the gas nozzle and a bolt on the base of the needle thing. for the liquid case, use a small baby bottle and have the lid glued to the top of the gas nozzle thing. makes things super easy to disassemble/reassemble.
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Unread 06-23-2013, 12:46 PM   #12
tereshkova2001
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I almost flew to a con with a fairly realistic PVC blaster in my suitcase. I eventually found a friend who is driving down and can take it in her car, but before that, I was planning to write a nice note to the TSA agents explaining the prop and tape it to the top of the blaster. I'd also declare it when I checked my bags, to minimize surprises.
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Unread 06-24-2013, 08:02 AM   #13
Penlowe
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General tip:
if you put food coloring in a container and let it dry out, it will reconstitute with water and a little swishing after days, weeks or even months

Also: when declaring odd things in your checked luggage, call it a movie prop. It simplifies things greatly.
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Unread 06-24-2013, 01:15 PM   #14
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Unrelated, pardon the mild thread hijack:
The Georgia Aquarium has a Dragon*Con party night on Saturday night. It's a separate admission for $22, but it's a lot of fun. There will be a big Bioshock group meet and photoshoot at that event. Last year was a lot of fun.
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Unread 08-07-2013, 10:27 PM   #15
erickste
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nathancarter View Post
Unrelated, pardon the mild thread hijack:
The Georgia Aquarium has a Dragon*Con party night on Saturday night. It's a separate admission for $22, but it's a lot of fun. There will be a big Bioshock group meet and photoshoot at that event. Last year was a lot of fun.
Oh my god. I am so glad you've mentioned this. Now I've gotta get my friends to go to this! Thanks!! And in conclusion of this thread, I am out of wit and patience with cosplay, and due to the stress of trying to make something that'll cost too much to ship, I unfortunately had to decide not to try making the ADAM Syringe. I'd rather save it for a con I am driving to, so I can be assured it'll transport safely. I did make a Mr. Bubbles doll so I've at least got that, but I'll feel so empty without a syringe.
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