Travelling with figures

Being a figure collector for over a year, I felt that I need to broaden my horizons and start taking pictures of my figures in different places. The thing is that I am lazy, and any problem I encountered discouraged me to engage in the practice of taking pictures outside:

  • My backyard is huge, but it is always dirty.
  • My city is terrible, I don’t want to be mugged.
  • I don’t have time drive to nice places
  • The nice places are far away from here

It took long enough, an opportunity came. Suddenly, I had to go to SP on business. I wanted to make use of this trip to take a figure with me and take pictures of it in different places. SP is a nice city, full of nice stuff and cool places to visit, so I could not miss the chance.

However, I encountered some problems along the way:
  1. Which figure(s) should I take?
  2. How should I carry it?
  3. How should I take care of it while there?

In this post I am going to explain my resolutions and the consequences out of them.

1. Which figure(s) should I take?
First of all, it is not recommendable that you take a scale figure. Unless you are travelling with your own vehicle, and/or you have the means to transport it safely in its box or any other safe container, and/or is absolutely sure that the conditions on the place you are going to are suitable for taking pictures of a scale figure, don’t take it with you. Scale figures are “big” and delicate, one must really take good care of them. If you are not careful, you may break your figure. For example: for travelling, you should think of a figure that is small and versatile, just like a Nendoroid. These, however, may prove to be a pain in the ass difficult to handle because of their small parts. Also, no one wants to lose a hand or an arm. If you really want to take a Nendoroid, try one that has few modifiable parts. There is also the option of a Nendoroid petit, which are small and easy to handle. Figmas can also be a good choice, but then again we have the problem of the small parts. Other issue I see in these posable figures it the cost/benefit relation towards taking a picture and assembling them. When you want to take a picture, it doesn’t mean that you want to set a studio; figmas and nendoroids may be annoying because you have to pose them all the time, and when you are travelling sometimes you don’t have the time, neither the patience. In the end, not carrying the small parts, or choosing a Nendoroid with many parts or taking a nendoroid petit are the most interesting options.
My choice was Tachikoma Nendoroid. He/she is quite easy to be assembled, the articulations storage in small spaces, and he/she is a good character for almost any situation, due to his/her inherent curiosity and due to the fact that he/she doesn’t have a proper “face”.
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2. How should I carry it?
Disassemble your figure, and carry it protected either by a soft cloth, either by a secure container. For figmas, it is possible to use the plastic zip bag that comes with them, but it doesn’t provide safety against bumps and falls, for example. A hard plastic container may be useful to carry not only the figure, but some of its parts.
Depending on your outfit, you can also carry your figure inside your pocket. Coats and certain types of jackets with hidden pockets work nicely: you can carry your figure all around, and it is easy to get it and take a picture.
Wearing a coat or a jacket here is out of question, so I had to rely on the only thing that would be close to me all the time: my shoulder bag. I put bubble wrap In one of its inner pockets, making a cozy and safe compartment to carry Tachikoma.
I spent 15 days travelling, and 15 days carrying my shoulder bag around with Tachikoma inside
3. How should I take care of it while there?
One of the things that worry me most is the heat. I live in a tropical country, and we all know the effects of high temperatures on plastic. Avoiding taking pictures under the sun and keeping your bag (and yourself) in cool, air-conditioned places are safe procedures to be followed when carrying your figure around. It may be nice to take some shoots of you Nendoroid under the sunlight, but it is not definitely a long idea to expose it to midday sun. I’d never, for instance, take my figures to the beach during summer.
I may be exaggerating, but I’ve read stories.
It is possible to wash and clean your figure, but in order to avoid this nuisance I decided to take pictures only in air-conditioned environments. This is the result:
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I didn’t have many chances to take pictures, though. This was a business trip, so I was busy almost 100% of the time. It was a nice experience, nevertheless, as I got to carry Tachikoma around with me.
This post is a compilation of ideas express by me and by some fellow collectors via G+. Special thanks to +Neil Wilson, +Miguel S, +LeVar Bouyer, +Alessandro D, +Michael Huttner, +Daniel Pettersson and +Ni Ondoy.