thx pony. . .you wouldnt believe this, but the textures are very nearly grey. presently the lighting setup is NONE. its all HDR! so all the saturation is coming from kb's backyard!
in the tutorial kb shows a cool method to make a base texture (one i never knew of. . .this tut rocks i swear), so i did pretty much what he did. also, last night i was in my basement and found a modeling kit of 3 helicopters. one of them is an apache. and you are absolutely correct, the rivets are too big. i am not sure if i will redo them for this purpose.