Mike and Friends,
While snooping around a local hobby shop last week I discovered
Testors Decal Paper No. 9201. It is a package of six 5.5 x 8.5"
sheets. I paid $11.25. I also purchased a 3 ounce can of Testors
Decal Bonder Spray No. 9200 for $5.25.
I tried this "paper" in my Epson Stylus Photo 1400 which uses Claria
"inks". The decals printed very well when the setting was for "plain
paper" and quality set at "normal" per the instructions. One sheet
was printed with the "glossy photo paper" setting, and the lettering
came out fuzzy (I couldn't change the setting for some reason, but
later copied the file and appended it to another already set
correctly and it worked fine the second time). I let the ink dry for
24 hours, then shot each sheet with two coats of the Bonder Spray
(laying on and laying off). There's enough in the can to do about
eight sheets with two coats.
Except for the one software failure, I am pleased with the results
so far. As I don't have any of the models planned for these decals
ready, I haven't yet applied any. I will experiment with them
For comparison, I printed one sheet of Microscale TF-0 clear trim
film and experienced the same problems of the ink not drying. Into
If I experiment further, I will test other types of coatings such as
Testor's Dullcote or Krylon to see how they will react with the
inks, and whether decals treated with them will hold up during
I'm also going to try having my files printed with a laser printer
on the Microscale paper by a local copy shop/printer I've used for
other special jobs. Our planned acquisition of a laser printer at
work didn't happen.
After poking around on the internet, I found some interesting
information about the Epson "inks". Epson Claria "inks" are not inks
at all, but dyes. They don't have the same drying properties as HP,
Lexmark or Cannon inks. That is why you can't generally print with
an Epson in color on photo paper or other media from manufacturers
other than Epson. The only non-Epson photo paper that seems to work
is Office Depot's house brand which I can no longer get in my area
(our OD store closed, and the closest is 75 miles away in Richmond).
My earlier Epson 440 worked just fine in color on almost any paper.
This machine used real inks.
And by the way, I used a light yellow-orange color for decals for my
Sacramento Belt line, a fictional Western Pacific subsidiary. This
is similar to what the WP applied to most of their new and repainted
cars starting in 1955. Decals intended for my Virginia Midland
equipment were printed in a very light gray which approximates
silver. It will be interesting to see how these look. I also did
some in black, including lettering for a gray Detroit & Mackinac
boxcar I've always wanted.