Artwork by Serge Stone, used with permission. More of
his paintings can be seen
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Model includes two camouflage versions.
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330 feet 2 inches
34 feet 10 inches
Main battery - four 138.6mm (5.5inch) guns (4 x I)
- two 100mm (3.9inch), eight - 47mm
Lavoisier was a
small French cruiser, one of a class of three, begun 1895, launched 1897
and completed in 1898. She was build at Rochefort along with her near
sister Galilée. The last ship of the class, Linois,
differed in many ways from the first two and was build instead at La
Seyne. With her high freeboard she could operate relatively easily in
the full ocean and would have served well, for the time, as a commerce
raider. Additionally, Lavoisier, but not her sisters, was built
to burn oil along with the coal – an unusual and early use of this
feature. Perhaps this is why she remained on the lists until 1920
although her sisters were both scrapped by 1911.
Postcard photos show her in the distinctive black lower parts with brown
upper works as well as in the colonial garb of very light gray overall.
She and Galilée were nearly identical in appearance but
Lavoisier can be distinguished by the ladder she carried starboard
and forward side of the forward funnel. It should be noted that the
projecting bow is sometimes lumped under the designation of “ram bow,”
but this is inaccurate for Lavoisier as she had no reinforcing
that would allow her to ram without considerable damage to herself.
These wonderful and characteristic bows that the French applied to their
ships during the pre-dreadnought era rarely have any listed function –
although for the battleship Masséna the form was added in order
to give more flotation to the bow which would have dipped under the load
of the turret machinery. It was not until the beginning of the
next century that French ships began to be designed without this flair.
With features such as this I think it is fair to claim that these ships
represent works of art wrought in iron and steel where form was not
entirely sublimated to function. - Golden Bear