I used the rub and buff metallic wax for the color (comes in a 3-pack off amazon - image included). Gold leaf was used for the edges and silver leaf was used for the letters and arrows. Careful when applying it to the letter rings. Too much and it fills the letters and you lose the black recess that makes the letters pop. I had to put the smallest dab on my fingers and carefully spread it starting at the edges. If you do get some in the letters, a small pain rust and some black paint helped fix the look.
The instructions don't tell you this, but pay attention to the orientation of the encoder rings when inserting them into the letter rings. There are slanted edges on the encoder rings that align with a slanted edge of the slot in the letter ring.
I super glued the end cap onto the inner core. Make sure you assemble it first and ensure the letters can spin before gluing. Careful not to super glue the pieces of the inner core to the pieces of the outer core. I ended up putting a few drops of glue to lightly attach the end cap at the right depth on the inner core, then removed the inner core and added more glue when I wasn't worried about accidently fixing the two cores together.