Quite an update for you here.
First up was to basecoat the ship, and for that I used "Polar White", a car spray that I don't remember for what brand of car it was used for. Anyway, went with that as its an odd white with an almost greenish/grey tint to it:
With that on it was decal time, and what I thought would happen happened - the clean bright decals on the clean bright white made it look very toy-like:
The big underside decals went on pretty well, considering how large they were and the fact they all had to be joined up: the two halves for the body of the bird and each wing being made up of two more decals.
Took away the toy appearance by breaking out the pastels. I put them on pretty heavily as I figured, what with the aerodynamic shape of it, that it'd certainly be able to scoot through an atmosphere, so would pick up some wear and tear there.
Final thing to do was put the clear hemispheres on the end of each pylon, and to pick out the windows.
To do that I used a pencil as (A) i'd have more control over things, (B) a dark grey would not be so jarring as black paint.
And that's him done. A lovely, simple build of a classic design, that I've enjoyed re-visiting all these years later.