I have also had problems in the past with figure parts not staying together. I have tried the water/gumpaste glue but that didn't always work. I read somewhere on here that about using corn syrup. It works better for me but if you're not careful it can be shiny where the corn syrup oozes out a litttle. I also use small amounts of gumpaste painted with water for some parts. I am going to try the tylose and water mixture on my next figure.
I also use spagetti or toothpicks to hold arms, legs, etc together. I always tell people my figures are for decoration only. I always have lollipop sticks going through the middle of my figures for support with about 3 or more inches sticking out the bottom to put into the cake.
For drying I stick the the lollipop sticks from the bottom of the figures into a block of styrofoam. When the figure is completely dry I put a paper lunch bag over it to keep out the dust and to prevent fading until I put them on the cake.
Sorry I have no ideas how to have one figure throwing the other over the shoulder.
Hope some of this helps. I can't wait to see the figures and cake when you are done. Please post pictures