Update to my last post. I put together a new pickguard, plus a mid boost kit and decided to go for a change in look based on the Telecaster I modified last year (which has a Bakelite 'guard). Bareknuckle Apache pick ups that I swapped over from the white 'guard (out the original ones back onto the white 'guard). The mid boost can be used subtly to just add some thickness to the tone which works well playing clean into my Deluxe reverb.
Really pleased with how it's turned out, completely reversible of course and changes the sound and looks massively:
$88 pawnshop Squier Bullet. It doesn't actually say Strat anywhere on it, but it's the right shape I took out the humbucker, butchered the pick guard and installed a Gibson P-90S. I've drilled a hole for a tone control but haven't got around to buy the new pots and cap yet.
This is likely the only Strat I'll own, as I don't really care for them, but it was cheap.