SkeletalMesh on Player Controller doesn't render?

The project I’m working on is a mixture of RTS / FPS, meaning that there are meant to be a LOT of pawns in the game that the player can take control of (regular switching between vehicles etc).

It seems stupidly inefficient to have a First-Person mesh component on every single one of those actors (what I currently have), and I can reduce a lot of my overhead by just having a single Skeletal Mesh Component as part of the Player Controller, and attaching it to / switching the mesh to the Pawn at runtime.

Now initially this works. When the player spawns in they are in spectator mode, and don’t have a pawn so the mesh renders fine. As soon as gameplay starts however and the player is given a pawn, the mesh never draws. I’ve been debugging it for ages and I literally cannot work out where it’s being hidden? I’ve checked in the autos list and it’s not actually ‘hidden’ either, so it’s just being skipped for rendering somewhere.

Anybody have any ideas on how to get around this?