I start with a cheap telecaster kit that I will reshape and hopefully improve.
There will be some stuff to fix (the neck pocket is too big), re-routing the neck pickup cavity to use a P90 soapbar, create a new control plate to put the switch at an angle. Then the classic stuff (but still a first for me) : leveling and crowning the frets.
The finish will use Crimson stains and finishing oil, most likely a simple cherry red stain or a black to cherry burst but I'm not sure yet.
This should be fun even if I have a limited number of tools.