When I ran out of decal paper a few weeks ago, I started looking at all the different options available online. One product that caught my eye was the Bake-On Waterslide Decal Paper by Papilio. The difference between this paper and standard waterslide decal paper is that after you apply the decal and let it dry, you bake it in the oven for 25 minutes. An additional chemical reaction takes place and the decal is supposedly stronger. I ordered a pack and put it to the test.
The first thing I noticed is that these decals are MUCH easier to apply. I couldn’t believe how easy it was to apply a face decal after struggling with the other decal paper so much. This paper is slightly prone to tearing, but I experienced no stretching or warping. I usually go through three or four face decals before I get it right, but with this paper I got it right the first time almost every time.
The instructions say to bake it at 325° for 15 minutes. From my experience, this temperature is too high for minimate plastic. It screws up the joints. I decided to bake mine at 225° instead, since I have used that temperature before and I know its safe. I did remove any non-decaled parts to save stress on the joints. I also increased the baking time to 25 minutes to make up for the lower temperature.
After one day I didn’t notice much difference between the decals I applied with this paper versus the standard paper. But after four days the difference was clear. This paper is definitely stronger than the standard paper. A quick swipe of a toothpick ruined a standard decal, but did no damage to the bake-on decal. They are still not as strong as official minimates, but I think this is as close as we will be able to get, especially if you coat them with clear coat.
I highly recommend using this paper over the standard waterslide paper. The website I purchased it from is here. It looks like they only offer the bake-on decals for laser printers, and not inkjet printers. However, perhaps the ease of applying the decals wasn’t limited to the bake-on decals. Perhaps all of the decals this company produces are easier to apply. The standard ones might not be quite as strong, but as long as you aren’t banging the minimates together they should hold up just fine.