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How-to Tuesday: Painting while traveling

How-to Tuesday: Painting while traveling

A while ago I touched on taking models and painting materials on a vacation.  Recently, I flew to visit my parents, and took my Cryx Battlebox with me to paint when I had some free time.  Since I wouldn’t be able to borrow brushes or paint (since my parents don’t have Windsor Newton brushes or P3 paint just laying about), I had to bring my own.

The first issue was making sure I had enough paint with me.  I distilled my paint scheme down into the minimum number of paints required, and ended up with 18 pots of paint and 2 bottles of ink.

The TSA guidelines on liquids in carryons requires you to not take more than 3oz, and you can’t take more liquids than will fit into a single 1 quart plastic bag.  P3 paints are 1/2oz and the 20 bottles fit nicely into a 1 quart bag.

The second issue was how to protect the paint brushes.  Some brushes have these plastic tubes that fit snugly onto them that encapsulate the bristles.  These are fantastic for protecting the brushes.  I went one step further and tossed my brushes into the tubes that Windsor & Newton brushes come in.

Lastly, securing models.  This was arguably the most important bit, since I wasn’t bringing the necessary tools to fix a model if something happened.  Sure, superglue is cheap, but hobby knives, files, greenstuff, all that wasn’t making the trip.  I found a small box, and lined it with spare foam from blisters.  I then carefully fit the models in, with lots of foam.

Once all packed, the kit took up very little space in my backpack.

NOTE: that is not a can of spray paint, that is a stack of 5 Spray Paint caps. Spray Paint is not allowed on Airplanes!!

Now, the models I took were plastic, so they didn’t send up any red flags in the x-ray machine.  If you’re taking metal models, packing them neatly in a separate box is especially important.  The TSA requires you to place laptops in their own tray when going through the x-ray machine.  They’re complex enough and have lots of metal, so they want to have an unobstructed view.  Treat metal models the same.  Take them out of your carry on and put them in their own box.  When you put the box through, tell the agent that it has “metal toy figurines” in it.

Two reasons for this:

  1. Being upfront with the agent will help him understand what he’s looking at in the X-ray machine.
  2. The separate box in a separate tray means that if he wants to examine them, they don’t have to go through your entire carry on, just the box with models.

For more info on the TSA guidelines, check out

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  • Just to add, my dad is a Artist, and back in the day he traveled to Paris for some studies during class.

    While going through security he had a box of Pastels that went through the X-Ray machine that were all wrapped in I think the Lead Foil, or some kind of metal foil. Any way red flags go off, I think security pulled a gun on my dad since they thought he was trying to bring live ammunition onto the plain since it looks like a bunch of round cyclinders all neatly packaged in a little box.

    Anyway they went through his bags, and he had to break each of the Pastels in half to show them that he was not smuggling anything. Exciting times.


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