I like the finished texture of hand planed timber. I think the scrub is a bit too deep, I like a more subtle surface. I use my Stanley bench plane with the blade sharpened similar to the scrub, it covers more land as well. I wouldn't be picky just get it done.
I would rather hand plane than sand the timber.
Interesting pictures, the model ship deck reminds me of the work my Grandfather did, some of the figures and the details were amazing for a man with short fat fingers, which he had. I will always remember the fisherman in the yellow slicker and the sowester standing on the deck of the schooner. The fisherman was no bigger than the length of your fingernail.