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I have bought the aluminium reseller package on hostgator and specified a subdomain of an existing domain I already had as the primary domain.

How do I set this up in the hostgator whm panel and what records do I need to change on the dns records for the externally held top-level domain?

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I suggest you to contact their support team. If you use Plesk, I can tell you. I never use whm. :) –  Mark Shawn May 24 '12 at 6:04
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If you already have the account setup to have the subdomain as it's name, the only work that would need to be done on your primary domain name would be to set up the subdomain's hostname with the ip address of the server your account in on. Say you setup your account as submarine.pacific-ocean.com and the server has an IP address of 15.14.12.11, you need to add an entry for submarine at your primary domain (ex: pacific-ocean.com)and point it at 15.14.12.11

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