I have been building this kit for almost 3 years now, and I believe I have come to know a great deal about it. I am writing this topic to pass on what I have learned, so others can use this information if they choose to do so, when deciding whether to undertake this project. I had no such information, and made the decision based on books and other source information I could gather.
Make no mistake, I am delighted with my choice, but there are many things to be concerned with if attempting to complete this kit.
Having completed several advanced level kits from other manufactures, the Euromodel philosophy is different from the others. They provide excellent plans to take the build far beyond the basic supplied kit and it is up to the builder to decide how far to take it. The kit itself is probably the most expensive kit in its class out there. I paid over $1300 dollars US about 4 years ago. If the builder desires to just build the basic kit, with little to no enhancements, the finished product would be a fine model, but would not look much like the plans because much of the intricate detail would be left out. The materials provided in the basic kit are of high quality and would not really need much substitution to improve quality.
If however you wished to replace some materials such as lumber or fittings with better stuff, you could be putting out hundreds of dollars more. That is strictly a matter of choice, but not absolutely necessary. I did not replace hardly any materials because I thought I needed better quality, but did replace or modify some of the smaller fittings for better detail.
I chose to include as much detail enhancements as my skills would allow because I wanted my build to be as close to the plans as possible, and even went beyond in some areas. To this point I have probably invested $400-500 dollars more for materials. This does not include a considerable amount of extra materials taken from my stash, which have accumulated over 35 years of modelling. I don't even count buying new and better tools either.
In my opinion, the skills level needed to build the basic kit would be at the very high end of advanced. If you want to add the enhancements like I did, a good supply of scratch building skills is a requirement. While I have not completed a true scratch build yet, a considerable amount of this build so far has been from scratch. I believe my skills have been greately increased because of this. Certainly all of the enhancements, and even some of the basic kit construction requires making parts from scratch, as indicated in the plans themselves. You are pretty much working strictly off the plans, as there are little to no instructions included. I have relied on books from other builders of this ship and the excellent reference notes provided on the Euro website, which are free, to help me along.
So in summary let me say that if you are considering taking on this project, be prepared to invest countless hours of intense effort, and a very large amount of cash. You should have a few completed models of the advanced category under your belt and not be afraid to venture into the unknown.
This is without a doubt the most fun thing I have ever done, but I have also had some scary moments trying to get things right. Lots of do overs also. So far, so very good.
Good luck to you if you decide to do this. You are going to need it. The end result should be far better than you imagined. While I am about half finished, most of the hardest parts have been accomplished.
I do have a build log going and up to date. Just go to the Ship Kits section of the forum and query Royal William.