Yesterday I managed to cut the bases from the figures. All survived the experience, even the Airfix squaw (at over 40 years old she's got the right to be a little fragile).
When I painted the base-less horses I glued them on a bottle cap with wood-glue, but here a disaster happened. Some of the old Italeri sets are very fragile and one of the horses broke a leg. What to do now? Get another horse or use the ones I've got and pretend nothing happened? I think I'll try to hide the injury and pretend nothing's happened. And the horse? Well, he's a good horse and I think he'll get over it. :-D