Balloon Cruiser Rus

The Rivers class ocean liner SS Lahn, was built at Glasgow by the Fairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Company for the Norddeutscher Lloyd shipping company. Starting in 1888, she sailed between Bremen and New York as an express liner.

In 1904 she was sold to the Russian Volunteer Fleet, converted to a balloon cruiser and renamed Rus (some sources say Russ). Her specifications were:
Gross tonnage: 5,099 (as SS Lahn)
Length: 448.4 ft.
Beam: 49 ft.
Speed: 18.36 knots (average from Southampton to New York in 1889)
Armament: 4 3 inch and 10 six-pounder British weapons (1904)
Balloons: 4 Parseval-Sigsfeld kite, 1 spherical observation (1904)

She sailed for the Far East as part of the Third Pacific Squadron, but only got as far as Aalbeck Bay, south of Skagen, before her poor condition caused Admiral Nyebogatoff to send her back to Libava (Reference “Tsushima Japan’s Trafalgar,” pages 218-219).

The photo above is a crude version of the Rus in 1/6000 scale, converted from a Figurehead Otranto. The lump aft is intended to represent a Parseval-Sigsfeld being prepared for ascent.