Thanks for your thoughts! Let me tell you what it looks like from this end of the telescope...:D
I've got one Revell Yorktown, that's going to be the '45 CV-6. And I think it says a LOT that after all these years what has finally made it possible to turn a good kit into a potential museum piece is YOUR work. IIRC somebody here at Model Fleet DID a Yorktown-to-Ranger conversion, or at least posted a pic of it. I know the two hulls are remarkably similar (and FWIW, a little trivia - there were to have been FOUR Rangers...and the next two had been assigned the names Yorktown and Enterprise ) and again - your stuff makes it possible to do a truly accurate one - and that helps make my point again. Even if I paid $35 at EBay for another Yorktown (for tis what it's going for there right now with S&H) and $40 for the GMM detail set, and got all the detail parts and aircraft I'd need from you, and let's throw in another $25 for plastic (I've already got a full set of blueprints for Ranger after the last big refit), I'd STILL pull it in a couple of orders of magnitude lower than what a new 350 kit, dedicated brass and the inevitable resin upgrade/replacement parts would run me. And of course there's no way to put a price tag on the fact that I've got a one-of-a-kind model sitting on the shelf. BTW I'd be building Ranger as she appeared in the Pacific in early '45 as the night fighter training carrier...a deckload of everything in the inventory. :D
As far as Sara goes, that's definitely a mixed emotion. I've got the Fujimi 1/700 kit, and even though it's got some problems (most notably that gawdawful hull) it's still possible to turn her into an accurate '45 rig. I happen to think that that huge, beamy hull would actually lend itself better to the bulges that need to get bolted on. I'd LOVE to get my hands on the 1/350 Sara/Lex but again - the base price is a stunner, even on sale, with the cheapest I've seen it for still clearing $100 with S&H. Add brass and materials, not to mention the correct air group, and $200-$250 isn't out of the question - not to mention the problem of where to put the darned thing once I'm finished.
The good news, however, is that you're right - all of it is doable, and now that I FINALLY have the time again (or something resembling it) it's time to start putting together the materiel lists...