Not much Nellie related progress, because I'm trying to clear the painting table of the 54 Legionaries that seized control of it around 3 weeks ago. Consequentally, I won't be able to start the elephants for a few more days. However, as a taster, here are some of the primed crewmen (all photos clickable).
The miniatures took a while to prepare, because there is a little assembly required (heads and weapons), and because the metal from which they are cast is fairly hard and needs a bit of work when filing. There are mould lines visible on some of the legs, presumably because the mould-halves are slightly out of alignment, but this won't matter as they will be hidden in the Howdah. Aside from that, they came out very nicely; the detail is extremely crisp. The separate heads (which Mario kindly sent me a small bag of) came into their own, because they enable each figure to be different from the next, and the heads can be posed looking downwards. I sat each of the heads in a little greenstuff and superglued for safety.
I have taken three minor liberties with the elephant models that Mario sold me. The first was to replace the cast pikes provided with wire spears. I did this because I hate cast spears (because they are too thick and yet bendy), and in this case I felt they were too short to enable the crewmen to engage enemy on the ground. The second was to replace one of the crewmen with a spare Empire Model, for the sake of variety, and the third was to swap the shields for Crusader shields, because they are larger and will look more imposing, and because I already have appropriate Crusader transfers.