If I may.
I note that you say its made of Balsa wood, I trust you sealed it well and sanded it smooth prior to applying the paint ???
What have you painted it with ?? ie Acrylic or Enamel ??
If its Acrylic then you may not have to remove the paint at all.
You can spray over it with some primer filler, ( Halfords sell it it has a yellow top ) build it up in small coats and sand between, when fully dry and level, then sand again to a smooth finish and let it harden then you can re-spray over it with Acrylic of the colour you wish then varnish over that with a good quality modelling varnish .
the beauty of using a primer filler correctly applied it will fill and remove any blemishes in the hull such as you have mentioned.
P.S. You may wish to rethink the remark about there being no skill involved in that plastic stuff until you have seen what some experienced modellers can do with it and that includes making your own hull etc which can be several times more complicated than a simple wood hull.
Hope this is of use.