So the new gauge faces are on, the protective film has been removed and no catastrophic issues noted. The tiny little screws have been loctite’d in place.
The needles were left white, with the tips painted a bright red, then clear-coated. The end results seem fine, and contrast with the gray faces nicely.
The last stage of reassembly involves crimping the chrome ring back along the outer edge of the gauges. This will likely be a bit of a pain, but should go quickly.
It does seem like a lot of work, but I’m more than a little pleased with the outcome.