It wasn't too bad! I definitely prefer it with the white pickguard, it doesn't look gloomy any more
I still need to get the action a bit lower, but no rush for that.
If I was going to do this project with the benefit of hindsight I would have retained the original bridge, but tried to get it to float properly. The Wilkinson hot pickups are well worth the money - very loud compared to the originals and a huge range of tones, although all of them are a little edgy - there is no total clarity like there was from the Squier pickups. But that was what I was hoping for, so I am a happy bunny. The Wilkinson pickups on the HB450L Les Paul copy were what informed my decision - they are just astounding really. I might rewire that guitar next, just the pots and switches. It might help with the earth leak it has acquired some where along the line (although according to the meter everything is earthed properly).
The difference between the Elixir strings and the â‚¬1 Lidl ones is not so much in the sound, but in the fact that the Elixirs stay in tune rather better. 'Spect the cheapies need more stretching.