I'm a ship modeler, 1/300 scale to 1/48 depending on the original vessel's size! Never even considered airbrushing until a colleague did a quick demo at a meeting of the Ship Modelers Society and talked about how easy and inexpensive it is to get started. Went to Harbor Freight and bought about $50.00 US of compressor, hose, siphon-feed airbrush (knock-off of Badger 350) and was irrevocably hooked from day one! I now have 6 airbrushes, two compressors and an air eraser (mini sandblaster). Here's my lesson from about 2 1/2 years of experience with the art. 1. Consider the tool. There's VERY LITTLE that can go wrong with an airbrush, mechanically. The trigger air-release mechanism could break down. Difficult to repair, easy to replace. And that's about it! I found an online source for a Master G-23 airbrush for about $9.00 and ordered it. Not a Master, not even a good copy of the $60.00 G-23 in most respects. But, for 9 bucks, I decided to keep it and, at worst, use the parts for repair of my real Master brushes if needed. Guess what? The $9 knock-off has NEVER FAILED ME! 2. Why might an airbrush (even an Iwata Custom Micron) stop working properly? Maybe the trigger failed? Has that EVER happened to you? No? Then maybe the needle is bent. Possible, but it's your fault. Maybe the nozzle is clogged. Maybe but it's your fault. I sincerely believe that there are three rules you must follow in airbrush practice: A. Keep it clean, B. Keep it CLEAN, C. KEEP IT CLEAN!! That said, it seems there is too little advice on the use of filter funnels or strainers when charging your brush. Using a fine mesh strainer (as fine as the needle you're using) will help keep the innards clog-free. Running cleaner through your brush after every session or color change can't be overlooked. And handle the needle when it's out of the brush, as if it were, well, the most critical and fragile part of the equipment...because it IS! When I pick up one of my airbrushes, it feels right in my hand, it works reliably, and it produces a finish that is in every way superior to anything I've used before. Is there an advantage to owning an Iwata? Sure! Ego, prestige, confidence, and, perhaps, durability. But I have to say, for routine jobs, I grab that shiny chrome $9 knock-off and I'm ready to paint the world! If you're considering which setup to buy, stop considering and get the one that you think best for you. The cheapest setup will give better results than any rattle-can or paint brush! But beware! This is an addictive pursuit!