Following a dreaded Gmax file corruption ... I resorted to the next most recent incremented filesave. I couldn't believe that 3 successive filesaves were corrupted! A quick import of MDL into MCX, export of a 3ds mesh, reimported into Gmax, keeping just the bits I had changed and remapped. Reimported into the last Good Gmax save. Reapplied the materials. Bingo. Thankyou Arno ... many tears saved.