Review: Testors Decal Paper

I noticed that Testors has their own brand of inkjet decal paper. Since I have been a fan of their Model Masters paints for many years, I thought I would give it a shot. A few weeks ago I ordered an assorted pack online, along with their recommended decal spray sealer, just to be safe. I finally got around to testing the paper last weekend. The results were quite disappointing.

I was surprised to see that the paper was 5″x7″. The description on the web site didn’t specify the paper size, so I assumed they would be 8.5″x11″. The paper came with decal printing software that was pre-loaded with decals for model cars and planes. I decided to just print a sample sheet of these to test, and left it to dry for the recommended 20 minutes. I planned on using my usual brush-on clear coat on some of the decals, and using the Testors spray-on sealer on others, to see if there was a difference. Well the brush-on clear coat made the decal smudge so badly that it became unrecognizable. That never happened with the other two types of decal paper I have tried. So I sprayed the rest of the decals with sealer and let that sit for 24 hours.

When I checked the decals the next day, I noticed that the decals had microscopic cracks all over. The paint had also smeared slightly. I applied one of the skull decals onto a minimate body. You can see the problems with the decal above. I printed some of my decals on a sheet, let them dry, and sprayed them with sealer. I got the same results again. I checked the instructions several times to make sure I wasn’t doing anything wrong, but everything was by the book. Using the decals without sealing them would also cause the toner to run. There doesn’t seem to be a good solution to this problem.

The decals are easy to apply. However they are very glossy – too glossy to blend in with most official minimates. One positive aspect is that they cut easily with a scissors without harming the decal at all, which is different than other brands I have used.

Overall, this decal paper was an oddball. It was a different size than any other decal paper I have seen, and it is incompatible with any brand of sealer, including the recommended one. It might be possible to get it to work correctly, but I don’t think its worth the effort. It was the same price per page as the decal paper I currently use, except the pages are half the size. I say pass on this one.

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4 Responses

  1. Jatta Pake says:

    I’ve seen this decal paper in my local hobby store and passed on it because of the size and price. Remind me, Luke, what is the brand of the inkjet decal paper you usually use?

  2. Luke314pi says:

    Usually I use laser decal paper because I can print them at work. But the same company that makes my laser decal paper makes an inkjet variety. I am going to order a pack to review, since I have an inkjet printer at home. Their website is here:

  3. karamazov80 says:

    I bought some “inkjet” decal paper a while ago (because it was all they had at the Office Depot), but only have a laser printer. I never tested it (can’t even find it at the moment), but I’m curious if it will work at all. . .

  4. Luke314pi says:

    Apparently ink jet paper is coated with a very light coat of plastic, and the high heat of a laser printer could potentially melt that plastic and get all gummed up inside. With that said, I have used inkjet paper through my laser printer at work before, and there was no catastrophe. 😉