Well the obvious thing to do is start with the command group. Build them how you want, and then progress a row at a time with the rest of the unit. A good rule of thumb is to put them with their feet diagonally on the bases so you have a nice big front corner for their shield arm, and to have all of the spears/weapons as vertical as possible.
As I find the skeleton miniatures terribly fragile, I've pinned all mine at the shoulders and lower spine. If you want to try some more dynamic poses you can always start with one (command group, as said above) and build the rest around it. Dry-fitting the arms will help a lot if you keep the model you're assembling next to the finished ones. Painting numbers on the underside of the bases will help you keep track of which miniatures fit next to eachother. This will increase the time needed to put a unit together for play however.
I have had the same problem with my guys, generally just try and put the legs diagonally, and then have the weapons up in the air or down low at the sid of the model, and just hold the shield in front, so sometimes what I do is with the straught swords I have the guy sort of braced behind the shield and that actually create a really compact model, the hardest part is getting them posed in a naturl way that will rank up. Also try using the tomb stone unit fillers too as they can be put next to any problematic models so it still has space to rank up (plus you get another 4 guys)
Yeah as long as the person you are playing with is okay with it (which most people are since the tomb stones come i the box with extra bases) so they can be used as skeleton's for all intents and purposes.
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