Had a lot of fun building the Picket Boat . The planking was a bit of a bear at first but once I figured out the planking system it was very easy . Plenty of extra wood is supplied in the kit so if you screw up no worries and seeing as the hull is going to be painted any mistakes can be filled and painted over. I used a black (Rusto-leum) hammered finish on the hull which I lighteley sanded and looks as though the hull has been tarred . The rest of the parts are easy to make and fit . The inner decks I left with a wood finish sanded and polyurethane to finish .The tool boxes I painted metal grey and polyed .At first sight the engine looks a beast to build but if you follow the step by step instructions it is comparatively easy. The trouble I had was making and tapping in rivets I do believe the kit could have had some better riveting solution . The brass rod is rather harder than I care for small parts . I ended up using brass nails left over from another model ,I ground the heads down a little smaller using a dremel tool (hold the nail in a collet by the shank and file the head) I cut them shorter then tapped them in and riveted over with a modelers hammer . The aluminium tube used for the plumbing I painted gun metal gray and had no problems fitting everything together . I have very large hands so tweezers are very useful for this kit . I have a very varied selection of them. The boiler condenser etc. really build themselves if you follow the plans and instructions .I left the boiler cover wood finish ,condenser and painted engine parts flat blue. The cannon and torpedo I used flat acrylic paints . The cannon needs a little filing work to take of the sprue and joint mismatch halves . My only real problem with the kit was with some of the lasered brass sheet parts the brass is rather harder and care should be taken bending the parts I ended up soldering some back together ( maybe being a little to rough with them).
If you like a planking challenge this is kit for you . I would not choose this kit for an absolute beginner mainly because of the planking of the hull . On the whole it is a great kit and the finished boat sit proudly in my glass cabinet selection of boats .
I am a retired machine tool craftsman , and just picked up model boat building again .This is the fifth model boat I have built in the last 3 years.