Historic Ship Models

 Ship model USS BONHOMME RICHARD of 1779  Ship model USS Bonhomme Richard of 1779



Ship model USS BONHOMME RICHARD of 1779

Scale 1 : 48, length 138 cm, width 44 cm, height 117 cm,

More photos of entire ship model, of details. Click on the photos for high resolution pictures!


The American USS BONHOMME RICHARD under the command of Paul Jones became famous when she took the English frigate HMS Serapis as a prize after a 4-hours-fight in the North Sea in 1779.
Paul Jones was one of first commanders in the emerging US Navy. In 1777 he had got the mission to carry the war against England to Europe. In France he managed to purchase the East Indiaman Duc de Duras, converted her to a frigate and renamed her BONHOMME RICHARD. On 23 September 1779 the ship and her small squadron met an English convoy guarded by the the English frigate HMS Serapis. A battle took place near Flamborough Head on the eastern coast of England. Although the American ship got so heavily damaged that she sank the next day, Paul Jones managed to take the Serapis as a prize.
By this Paul Jones became famous in Europe and America.

The ship model was built according to plans of Jean Boudriot (Collection Archeologie Navale Fran├žaise). Please take your time to have a good look at the set of photos. There are several views of the entire ship model taken from all directions and several closer views of hull, deck and rigging. If you click on a photo you will get that photo in high resolution. Only these high resolution photographs show how much work and handicraft ability were put in the model.
Viewing the high resolution photos: If you use Microsoft Internet Explorer or Firefox, press F11 to minimize navigation bars and have a larger screen with the photos. The high resolution photos are about 12 megapixel. So they are about 10 - 20  times larger than your 0.5 - 1.3 megapixel computer screen. Most browsers by default downsize the pictures to screen size, so you cannot see all the details of the ship models. To see the original resolution  move the mouse over the pictures and click on the magnifying lens.

The model of the BONHOMME RICHARD is 1 : 48 scale. Length is 138 cm, width 44 cm, height 117 cm. It is a beautiful piece of work, very finely detailed. The planks are made of pear and ebony, the deck is maple and the carvings are made of boxwood. The model's sails are set as running downwind on port tack.


There are two stands the model could be put in. One is shown in the photos above, the ship model being stabilized by two small wedges in the middle of the hull. The other one is a somewhat bigger massive black board, putting the model some cm above the ground. When comparing the two stands I personally prefer the two small wedges.

The US flag used by Paul Jones, as shown on the model, later was named after him.


This model has been already sold. The pictures and the data are shown in the gallery of the ship models sold only to let enthusiasts and model makers enjoy the photos and maybe get ideas or some guidance, if someone builds such a model by himself.