Choosing the camo coloursI decided to use the RLM colours that the instructions suggested but the pattern I pulled from my own hat. I checked my paints and picked two that looked just like what was needed: grey, grey violet and Dunkelgelb for the launch pad.
The first draft: top surfaceI started by airbrushing the grey violet (VMA 71128 Grey Violet (~RLM75)) liberally around the model in nicely wide bands, on the top half of the missile. Then I switched to the lighter grey paint (VMA 71103 (~RLM84)) and filled the gaps and redefined some lines to look a bit more pleasing to my own unartistic eye. As a whole it looked pretty functional.
While observing my own work I thought that the fuzzy lines just didn't sit well with me. So I decided to take another go at the pattern and for that I'd mask the edges to get some nicely sharp, clear borders. If that one didn't look good I could always revert my changes with little effort.
Securing some lines and refining themThe next evening I sat down to cut strips of masking tape and did what looked good to me.
Then I airbrushed the edges with the grey violet. After the paint had dried enough I tore off the masking tape and observed the results. Somehow this splinter pattern did look better to me.
Then the base with the same ideaTo speed the process up a bit I started by airbrushing the whole bottom half with the lighter of the two paints. This way I'd also avoid getting any silly strips of primer showing between badly or stupidly laid masks.
MaskingI guessed what sort of shrapnel shapes would be nice and then applied the masking tape strips semirandomly all around. I tried to make the splinters a bit more irregular on this side but still to keep to the main lines of the top half. All this was very quickly done, I just laid tape here and there at weird angles and without paying too much attention to any of that. Of course, in my rush I forgot to take any photos of that stage.
And then the restThen I charged my airbrush and painted over the uncovered surfaces. Pretty quick and simple stuff.
As soon as the paint had dried I tore the masking tape strips off to see the results. I also removed the canopy masks to avoid any unnecessary stickings. It looked amusing.
The launch padWhile doing everything else I painted the launch pad with the suggested dark yellow (VMA 71025 Tank Dark Yellow) that had a pretty clogged up nozzle. I squeezed it a bit too strongly and guess if the top rocketed into the paint cup and then splashed paint all around, including my face and hands. Funnily and luckily enough I didn't make a mess in the house (wall, floors or furniture) because I could've ended up getting some displeased feedback.
Thanks to my nonsense the first application came up a bit short. But no worries, I was just doing this by hand while the airbrushed bits were drying. I really didn't think I'd gotten this flimsy setup masked and done without spending a mindbending amount of time and effort.
At this point I realized I had ran out of Vallejo's Dunkelgelb. After a bit of digging I found a jarful of somehow different, in my opinion much sandier-coloured Tamiya's paint (XF-15 Dark Yellow). I didn't feel like fighting with that and the airbrush so I repainted the whole launch pad by hand.
Then I painted some bits (those suggested by the instructions) black. I deviated with some other models I saw in the net and used more Dunkelgelb and less black. Those support bits I also messified up a bit with black but for a proper sootage I would have to look elsewhere.