I filled the very small gaps in the elephant body halves and filed them. These were not gaping holes by any means and I only needed a bit of Games Workshop's liquid green stuff to fill some slight areas on the head, back and belly of the main body, where the ears joined the body and where the trunk joined the body. I then undercoated all the pieces and dry fitted the assembled howdahs and supporting cushion. The howdahs fitted together so perfectly that they didn't need any filler whatsoever.
I decided that I would paint the elephant first and also paint it and the rope work before mounting it on a base, so I could get at the underside. This shows four shades of grey on the elephant body and the dark shade on the rope. I have initially painted the eyes reddish brown, which is what the eye muscle on elephants is like but will need to paint the pupil to cover most of this.
Having finished off the elephants' bodies and the ropes I could then mount them on bases which makes them easier to handle. I used cut down Renedra plastic bases. These are 5x5 centimetres, which is twice the size of a base I use for mounted figures. The undercoat for the armoured tusk tips and the white undercoat for the transfers on the cloth is done now too.
Now I can add some plastic filler to the surface of the bases some sand and a few stones to the base. The black ends to the elephants' tails have been done now too.
Next I added the ribbons and collar tassel. I painted these a dark red and edged the elephants' cloth a dark red to match the transfers.
It's a long time since I put any Little Big Men transfers on and they are a bit of a fiddle for anyone as clumsy as I am. The transfers do not fit the elephant precisely and there were some edges that needed touching up against the ropes and at the bottom of the cloth. I finished the eyes (that really was a fiddle!), painted the bases, painted the metal work (the bell and some harness rings) and touched up any messy bits. Lastly, I painted and added the howdah support cushion. I can put these to one side now while I get on with the howdah. Grass will be added last.