I always paint the base of flyers quite early on in a project so I can glue the stand to the base. This then gives me somewhere to rest the model. I really like this model. It looks a lot better in the flesh then it did in White Dwarf and it looks even better when placed next to my Storm Raven.
I think, I might paint inside the cockpit and the pilot next. That way I'll be able to glue the canopy in place. Watch the skies, more to follow soon.