A craft knife and some ingenuity, and the basic surface of the shields was ready. Next I needed choppa arms, for the conversions. For these I found a tolerably priced supplier in Germany of bitz and so splurged £8 on 24 sword arms.
Some of the original models already had hand weapons so I didn't quite need as many as troops.
Now to begin preparing the troops. This chap - his head hidden by his shoulders - shows the essentials; The bow is cut down to form a handgrip for a shield, the knuckles are removed to give a flat surface. The right hand is cut off, and the arrows are either cut from the quiver, or trimmed down to form a knife handle. (I also found the end of a bow cut down to a fairly convincing knife handle too.)
Then simply cut a weapon free of its' old host and fit it in place with glue. Likewise for the shield and knife if present. Then one useless figure has become useful, and dynamic!
One of the models is undoubtedly a bit more awkward, as he is loading:
This chap needs more trimming and care than the others, and also needs a full replacement arm; but this can still be done effectively:
Note the tip of a bow serving as a knife. As a final touch I rummaged through a box of spares and found the shield bosses from a set of Skeletons, adding them to give more character: Additionally a horn was made out of spare parts to make a musician (stowed on his back for fighting) a standard bearer was already part made, and finallt a normal Orc warrior was recruited to lead them:
You'll notice that there are a number of them who seem largely painted. Way back in the day I painted up a dozen of these for my fledgling army, but soon realised they were of little or no use. It was still a little galling to convert them, and I'm not really looking forward to trying to match the painting styles. But the whole unit of 32 is ready to be painted and take its' place on the battlefield some time in the future.
Not bad for the price of a tenner or so...