I did a quick and dirty test build of the palanquin. I might have to add a warning: "Some modeling skill required." ;-) The holes for the platform drilled out real easy with a pin vise. A lot easier than I expected looking at them. The bearers hardly had to be drilled out at all. It is a little bit fiddly getting all eight bearers into position. There will have to be some filing of bases or additions of thin pieces of plasticard - you can see in the pic I've put dimes under a couple of the figures to bring them up to height.
Not sure what the best practice should be. Perhaps get the fit right and sort out the mounting and then paint them after that is settled?