update, got a first coat of Maroon on the Escutcheon assembly plastic body, i used maroon because it's a bright lovely color but in line with the spirit of the original purple plastic color used for knobs in these old trucks. painting this plastic allows me to color match it to the control bushings behind the knobs, it protects the plastic from further UV damage, and covers up existing damage allowing me to reuse the original. i also painted a reproduction escutcheon to see if i like that one more when i'm doing the final fit.
The steel housing is ready for paint, i'm going to paint it inside and out, originally it was not painted inside. I masked off a few places where i want metal to metal contact with the guts later on. if i had a better housing i would not use this one, it's in bad shape, i suspect it was left outdoors for decades. i cleaned it up, straightened it up and fixed some of the damage on it the best i could, hopefully it will turn out well. -s