Hi Kris....I am new to this thread and afraid that I have also become a fellow masochist and doing a build of this kit.. So far it has been a slow old slog to sort out some of the simplification problems that Revell have presented us with. I happen to also have the old Airfix version that is 1/144th scale that I bought after visiting the Vasa museum a couple of years before the Revell kit was issued.
Having learnt that Revell were working with the museum to produce their kit I was looking forward to something special. Overall it is not bad, but don't ask me why Revell could not have done a lot better with this kit. For example the carved figures on the old 1970's Airfix kit have much sharper definition than anything on the Revell kit. In fact the Revell carved detail looks a bit rounded and undefined. I am using the Airfix kit as a 'Sacrificial Lamb' and retro fitting as many of the Airfix carved details to the Revell one that is feasable to do.
The moulded in gammoning had to go, just like yours. A real pain in the butt the reinstate the carved detail under the beakhead. I found it easier to cut it out of each hull half with a fine exacto razor saw, glue the two parts together, remove the gammoning bit and rework the carvings. This will be refitted when the two hull halves are joined. Revell have made both top and bottom cannon ports all the same size. Looking at the Stolt drawings from the museum the lower ports are slightly larger than the upper. The old Airfix kit had this feature correct, so I have carefully enlarged all the Revell kit lower gun deck ports, and Airfix to the rescue as I will utilise all the hatches from their old kit to replace the Revell ones. All the treenails on the kit look like the rivets on the Titanic, so these were rubbed down gently so that they were flush with the hull but I could still see the position of each. I then used an aircraft modellers tool for marking rivets on 1/48th scale aircraft. Perfect for making a small slight circular indent that looks far more realistic than the raised 'rivet' style. Another thing was that the kit had no scarfe joints engraved where the hull timbers meet. Airfix one just the same. Would plastic sailing ship kit makers have us believe that timbers ran the full length of a 200 ft long ship? Revell were working with the museum on this kit so the omissions and errors are disappointing.These are the things to do that I have found so far, and I expect that there will be more!
Like Kriss, I agree that the hatches look wrong. Scale Warship make some photo etched stuff for the Revell Vasa. They make a full set of PE Shrouds/Ratlines as one set. Also they make a smaller detailing set with PE Hatch Gratings and Window Frames. I will be having a look at these to see if any good or not.
When I start painting I will be looking to use artists acrylics on the model. What paints did you use Kriss? You have obviously honed your painting skills on the Warhammer figures. I will also be looking to use similar techniques that I have used on 54mm figures in the past.
Look forward to seeing more of your progress on your model. If I end up painting mine half as well as yours I will be pleased.