Welcome to the salty side of the hobby.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Hopefully I can be of some help.
Thank you for your kind words on the King, and thanking you for taking the time to follow along. I am a very slow builder as you might have guessed.
Yes, you are right, ships do require painting as you assemble. I like to think of them as a series of smaller sub assemblies built up into one larger assembly.
The choice of glue is a little bit of a case of "horses for courses". If I have a sub assembly of plastic on plastic my first option is to try to remove the paint and use a styrene based glue. Failing that my "go to" adhesive for pre-painted parts and attaching the superstructure to the deck, I use white PVA glue very slightly thinned with water.
PVA glue thinned in this way has many advantages: You can apply it with a brush; It dries clear; it will adhere to paint, brass and plastic; it washes off with water if you make a mistake; and it gives you good working time. Unfortunately, it requires that the parts are not able to move until the glue cures. Not so good on PE that needs to be vertical and free standing-eg railings.
For PE, I generally use medium super glue for the tiny parts that need to adhere quickly. For the railings I will tack on the longer runs with super glue then using a brush run a bead of thinned PVA along the entire length. Thus the superglue holds the railing in place while the PVA has a chance to dry. Once dry, the PVA is much stronger in holding the railing than CA alone.
Be careful on the wooden deck with the PVA glue though, as the timber will want to 'suck up' the water used to dilute it. It is always advisable to 'seal' all your wooden decks with a clear cote of gloss varnish before applying them to your vessel. (Seal both sides if it is not self adhering). This helps later on with gluing objects to the deck and also protects it from aging. Later on you can seal the whole vessel in a matt varnish that will hide the gloss on the deck, plus any 'shiny' adhesive spots.
Good luck with your POW! They were fine ships and very distinctive. I do like your plan to get a few smaller ships under your belt before tackling the bigger ones.
Hopefully I have been of some help, Al and I do hope you will consider posting some of your builds on MSW!.
If you need any help along the way, mate, I am happy to help, and there are many friendly and talented modellers here on the site, who would be more than happy to help also.
PS. update coming soon-I promise!