A model airplane printed on a normal paper looks like old, worn machine. On a photopaper, it looks like brand new.
I cut out one fuselage part. The paper is more resistant to scissors than usual. Small parts are not as flexible as the whole page, so my fears of deforming were pointless. The paper is well-foldable, nothing delaminates and glue seems to stick to it well. Yesterday I thought I would have to buy 200 g/m2 paper, now I see it would be way too stiff.
|Weight [g/m2]||Paper type||Measured||Thickness [mm]|
|24||thin paper||0.3 mm / 10 layers||0.03|
|80||standard office paper||0.7 mm / 8 layers||cca 0.1|
|120||standard paper||1.25 mm / 8 layers||cca 0.15|
|160||standard paper||1.6 mm / 8 layers||0.2|
|180||matte photopaper||1.7 mm / 8 layers||cca 0.2|
|200||drawing cardstock||2.0 mm / 8 layers||0.25|
Thicknesses were measured by a caliper, several layers at once, then divided by the number of layers - it is more accurate than to measure just one layer. Whenever I didn't know some exact weight, I calculated it by interpolation and rounding.
No weights under 170 are available. On the other hand, there are lots of them over 200.
Tesco had a full shelf of matte 170. Glossy and half-glossy paper was almost sold out. When I asked why (if the matte one is of a worse quality), I was told it's OK, people just buy more of the glossy and thick for their photos.
Caution, problems ahead. Print on the photopaper (at least the one I had for testing) changed its colour remarkably after a year. Even though it was only exposed to normal diffused light, not a direct sunlight. Colour change is much greater than with normal papers and colour copies.
Both samples were printed on the same photopaper a year ago, just in a different scale. The upper one hasn't been exposed to light at all - the sheet was in a folder all the time. The bottom one has been out (not under direct sunlight). It was partially shaded by a PC monitor, so we can see the colour fading is not uniform across the whole area. It may not look so bad on the photo, but in reality the difference is very much visible.
I think this is a severe disadvantage. Maybe varnishing would help; I don't know, haven't tried it. Those who print their photos on this paper probably have more experience. But a photo is in an album while a model is in a display case, bathed in light and dust.
After this experience I would probably choose to print on a normal paper of some decent weight (160). Other than that, the photopaper is very pleasant to work with (cut, fold...). And before they fade out, the colours look very well.