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Unread 01-31-2013, 12:13 AM   #1
Touya no miko
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How do you travel with giant costumes/props?

Next year, I plan to go to Anime Matsuri in Texas. It's my first con outside of California, which means I'll be taking a plane to get there. Now I have a prop that's HUGE, probably 36 inches high. I rarely travel, so I was wondering how everyone manages to travel with all their cosplay supplies? Airports have certain rules and regulations about luggage. Especially the big stuff like props, armour, etc. If you're going to a con that's out of state or country, how do you bring your stuff with you? And how do you pack them safely and securely? Same can apply if you go to a local con.


This is a reference for the prop. If all else fails I can try to remake a smaller version.
Costumes for 2013:

Seras Victoria-Blood version

Last edited by Touya no miko : 01-31-2013 at 10:53 PM.
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Unread 01-31-2013, 01:51 AM   #2
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My biggest prop is a staff that's about 6, close to 7 feet tall. My brother and I realized that there was a problem when I bought the PVC pipe and it barely fit into the car, so I knew I'd have problems when convention time came around. So I bought some couplers and decided to cut the staff into three sections, and then connected the pieces after I got out of the car. It was also short enough to fit into my suitcase when I had to fly back to Japan, so it all worked out.

But while I'm still living overseas, armor and large shields/weapons have just been out of the question, sadly. I've got a list of characters ready for when I move back to the States!
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Unread 01-31-2013, 11:38 AM   #3
Baron Malleus
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I recommend building a case or buying one if the prop is intricate. You take less of a risk of the airline destroying it in the cargo area if it is in a case. This allows you to foam pad around it and ensure it arrives in the same condition as it started.
Costumes completed: Kenpachi Zaraki, Elanor Lamb,

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Unread 01-31-2013, 03:11 PM   #4
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Seconding the hard case

I've had a number of items that I have had to check when flying and unless they are something you feel comfortable dropping from shoulder height then you should get a hard case to put it in. If you plan on traveling with longer props in the future it can be a worth while investment as well. Depending on your budget I would recommend a hard shell golf club case. They run about $60 on amazon and are regularly handled by airline crew.
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Unread 01-31-2013, 06:17 PM   #5
Lithium Flower
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I drive to conventions, but hopefully this is still helpful. The staff I am going to be referring to is this one.

I purchased the wooden dowel as one piece, I located about the halfway point in the staff and sawed it in half. In one half I drilled in a screw so the actual pointed end with the threading was facing outwards. On the other end I located the center (they have a little ruler-sorta thing you can use that will help you find the center point; it's important to have it as dead-center as possible otherwise the entire thing could snap in half) and drilled a hole using a threader. Basically what it is does is make the little groves for the screw to.....screw into.

So from that point I could take it apart at the center point and carrying it this way. If your prop is relatively skinny, like the staff was, try finding a long box and pack it with something to insulate the prop, wrap it up nice n' good. Mark it and everything so you can find it easily, and check it with your luggage.

If you notice on that staff there's actually evenly spaced groves that go the length of the staff, in the future I am going to remake it and put screws for each of those sections so that it can be dismantled even further.

Maybe if you post a picture of what your prop is people could give you specific advice?
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Unread 01-31-2013, 10:52 PM   #6
Touya no miko
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It's kind of like this.
Costumes for 2013:

Seras Victoria-Blood version
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Unread 01-31-2013, 11:36 PM   #7
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If there is some way you can make it into something you can take apart, you should do that and put it into a luggage that will fit for a carry on. I don't recommending leaving it at check in or valet bagging...
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