Hey, I learned something!
Krylon and Rustoleum and even Ace Hardware spray paints come in bigger cans for about the same price as Testor’s little cans. And even with Testor’s expanded Model Master ranges, the big cans offer something like as many color choices if not more. Metallic and transparent colors too. The only area the model paints have a selection advantage is in metallics that look like specific metals- the Metalizer aluminum, titanium, steel, etc. And precise FS 595/a/b, BSC, RAF, IJN, etc, matches.
I made a bunch of samples of spray paint colors for a project, and ended up being able to compare various solvent based spray enamels, one lacquer, and whatever (lacquer??) Tamiya’s spray paint is. Krylon and Rustoleum spray paint smell similar and seem similar Ace Hardware’s house brand paint is pretty similar too. All dry to the touch pretty quickly and seem to be completely dry pretty quickly as well. You can smell their solvent system and its different from Testor’s.
Testor’s Model Master spray paint smells different and dries much slower. Its also MUCH thicker, and can make a single, shiny, coat in one pass. THAT’s the big difference. The Testor’s product minimizes the need to get the surface smooth and defect-free before painting. It will fill a certain amount of scratches and rough texture. “Conventional” spray paint is markedly thinner and quicker drying. It does NOT fill, or make a thick, shiny, coat.
This is not to say Testor’s product works automatically- you have to be alert and adroit to spray it well. Spray too little and it won’t fuse and you’ll get orange peel that way. Too much and it runs, ick! But if its shaken well, and sprayed lightly, correctly, the results are about as good as Santa’s elves could do.
The Testor’s products are very sensitive to how clean the spray nozzle is- dried paint that restricts flow will cause massive “orange peel” by making splatters rather than mist- the splatters don’t merge and flow into each other.
I also discovered that outlet and switch wall-plates make dandy paint samples. I’m never going to have to judge colors laid on cardboard again!
Lacquer dries even faster than the enamels, and Tamiya is somewhere in the middle.
We have a roll-around cart in the kitchen that holds the pots and pans and it needs painting. We just paid professionals to paint the whole downstairs and some of the upstairs, and had a pretty satisfactory process of picking sample colors, checking them under actual lighting conditions and making a final choice based on facts. With my sample switch plates, we settled on a color, and I’ll be sanding, priming, sanding again and then painting soon.