These are photos of my model of the French battleship Redoutable circa 1890-1893. Warship International ran an article by Marc Roche about the first steel battleship. She was designed by Marie-Anne Louis de Bussy, director of naval construction. As Redoutable was designed for duty on foreign stations, she was originally built with a three mast barque sailing rig when commissioned in 1878. During Redoutable's long career, which ended in 1911, she went through several rebuilds and her masts were reduced. As built she was equipped with 8-27cm guns (4 in redoubts, 2 in semi-circular barbettes above the redoubts, 1 in the forecastle, and 1 on the after deck) and 6-14cm guns on the upper deck). The armor belt of 35 cm was 1.52 meters deep. Below the armor belt was 29 cm that was 1.28 meters deep. She was 100.4 m long overall. Maximum beam was 19.76 m. As built, she displaced 8,858 tonnes and made 14 kts.
In 1890 she operated the Mediterranean squadron with Formidable, Trident, Vauban, Amiral Baudin, Amiral Duperre, Courbet, Bayard, and Dugesclin, all of which bore a general resemblance to Redoutable, with reduced rigs, steep ram bows, and funnels placed well forward. Unfortunately (but understandably since these ships had very unremarkable careers), there is a dearth of publications and model kits on these remarkable looking French ironclads. (Editors Note: Marines éditions produced a hard bound volume on the Redoubtable Class entitled, LES CUIRASSÉS REDOUTABLE, DÉVASTATION ET COURBET by M.SAIBÈNE. The volume is out of print but exhaustively covers the careers of the three ships in the class in photographs, drawings and text (French.)