And on to the painting!
Before we get too far into it, I'll go over some materials first:
Paints are fun!
If you're working with something small, don't feel like you have to go with anything expensive, like Citadel. Citadel paints (bottom) are very, very quality, but the paint is far more expensive for the amount of paint that you get (approximately 3.00 for Citadel paints). The above paints - Folk Art, Americana, Apple Barrel, and Ceramcoat are far more common and cheaper.
They are often (not always) thicker...Folk Art especially, it seems to have a paste- like quality. For this reason, a paint thinner/flow improver is almost always a good idea.
In painting with small figures, primer's super important. For my figures, I use Reaper's brush-on primer.
The most important part of painting with figures this small is making sure the paint is properly thinned. If you use paint straight out of the bottle the layer will be too thick, and will therefore cause streaks and clumps.
For this reason, I use this. Lasting Flow is a mix of a paint retardant and a flow improver. These things can be bought on their own, but this is a convenient pre-mixture meant for use on small figures.
Ponies are obviously needed - the stuff in the torn up wrappers is gray stuff, or Pro Create, which is what I use to modify. The strip on the right is the green-stuff, which is also used to modify.
An exacto knife is what I use to cut through the manes/horns/wings. It cuts through vinyl pretty well. Tweezers are always useful, and in the middle are miniature-sized files. Though the vinyl from the ponies doesn't file well, sculpey and other clays take well to it.
The most important thing for the upcoming part are the sharpies. The black extra-fine oil paint Sharpie marker is important. This is what I use for the eyelashes on the ponies, and it's the easiest way to get a steady line without constant repair.