Following my post on the 3rd Cheveau-Legers Lanciers Don emailed me to explain his technique for painting tiny writing on his figures. Here’s how he did it (in his own words):
Painted those decades back. However, if I recall correctly, the trick was not actually painting a nice threaded '3' but something more bulky closer to a 'B'. Then I'd sharpen a round toothpick to a fine point and use a 'Degas' inspired method of literally dotting the excess out with the background color. One has to keep sharpening the toothpicks to keep the point tight and the paint from clumping on the end long enough to do a troop of the figures. It's a technique that worked its most extensive when painting the battle names on the British colours. Unfortunately, the pic doesn't do it justice, but gives an idea of just how small you can get with the method.
Excellent stuff - if you zoom in you can actually read the Battle Honours. I believe it was painted in Don’s BB years (before bifocals – as he puts it) but it’s pretty impressive all the same.