Hey, sorry for the delayed response. For tips and tricks, I don’t have many simply due to the fact that Stapleton produced such a great kit that really didn’t need much work, besides painting.
I did find that the fit of the rubber handle into the body wasn’t quite flush (there was maybe a half a centimeter air gap between the end rubber handle and the butt of the main phaser body). This is by no means a big deal, but, I ended up building up the butt of the phaser body with some Bondo body filler to minimize the gap. Once it was dried I took a drill bit and just by hand drilled out the indent for the pin that holds the handle in place.
For the emitter, it’s a bit time consuming to get it all masked off, but it’s worth the effort. What I found worked best for me, was to get some painters tap, mask off a few inch section of the emitter, then go in with a mechanical pencil to trace over the trapezoidal cutouts. Then I removed the tap, cut it to size as marked, then put it in place. I’m pretty happy with the results. I didn’t do this, but it might be worth polishing the cutout areas just to perfect the look.
Other than that, I’d say to just take your time on the paint job. Since it uses gloss paint, it’s not too forgiving, so I made several passes of the fill-sand-prime loop, to get the best possible paint job.
This was also my first time doing a paint job with the silver mist. I tried it several times on some scrap cardboard I primed and painted with the Dove Grey. I tried various distances and durations, until I got a result I was happy with. On the phaser the mist job isn’t quite uniform between the top and bottom of the phaser, but I’m happy with it overall.
Here are a few photos of my finished product: