Brian Williams is a Marine Miniature Specialist who
started making models of yachts and ships in the 1940s, while serving in
the Royal Marines. Impressed by his
work, commissions increased in number by various Clients principally for
replicas of yachts.
In 1977, with the
encouragement of the National Maritime Museum,
which recognised his rare
gift, he turned professional. He then devoted his life to the creation
of these perfect scale miniature replicas upon which he had already
established a world-wide reputation for excellence.
now undertakes a very wide range of commissions for many subjects with
an unusual skill of creating small scale miniatures ranging from 1:1000
to 1:75. All his replicas are created to clients’ requirements. This
field now encompasses yachts for owners and crews; traditional sailing
ships of the line to Thames barges and inshore vessels;
commercial ships and warships; tugs; trawlers and work vessels
for collectors and museums. For such a dedicated specialist the large
range is unusual and based upon his extensive knowledge of the maritime
history of ship building and vessels through the ages.
have always played a large part in his ‘yard’ program ranging from
those of the past to the
current modern lifeboats. The RNLI commissioned him to produce a
complete range for the RNLI Museum and used for exhibition and
fund-raising but many have been created for lifeboat crews for
presentations besides other commissioned by collectors. Brian has been a
keen supporter of the RNLI for over 50 years and has so many friends
amongst the crews and staff.
replicas are outstanding for the fineness of detail in work of this
scale – a fully rigged ship, even with a Watch of her crew in a
showcase no larger than 10 x 7 x 6 inches. A client, looking at his replica through a magnifying glass,
was delighted to see that the shirts of his crewmen all fluttering to
leeward. Similarly, in a lighter vein, another was surprised to see his
daughter’s watch but couldn’t quite see the time!
comments emphasize that the crew detail is not a gimmick – it is what
the eye can see and Brian has the uncanny ability of embodying not only
the exquisite detail but the complete character of the subject, and the
spirit of the sea, in his work. The
lifelike seas, are a significant feature, stemming from his many years
as a marine artist.
commissions have been the Australian Tall Ships Trophy of the “Cutty
Sark” – a giant by Brian’s standards of 14” length; a
collection of 19th Century
ships of the line; the “Mary
Rose” commissioned for Prince Charles; J Class and America’s Cup yachts; and others for both Royal
collections and others including the Royal yacht “Britannia”. He has the belief that his range of work is limitless, an unusual
feature with a professional - one recently undertaken is a
complicated oil industry support ship, quite the most detailed subject
yet. There is a significant increase in commissions for commercial and
warships which is testimony to his skill.
In 2005 he completed an unusual limited edition H.M.S Victory to assist
with the restoration of the ship.
the thorough researching and drawing preparation, and the many
meticulous man-hours involved, one of the factors behind his world-wide
recognition is his ability to offer his work at very reasonable fees.
This results from his long experience in this unique field. His work is
found in many parts of the world, not only for owners and collectors but
specialized galleries and museums, and all have seen the value of their
replicas appreciate enormously over the years.
is an occupation of immense job satisfaction which generates hosts of
friends who possess his works, all supplied with their Certificates of
Authenticity and Scale, but there is always a tinge of sadness when a
replica ‘sails’ to her destination after the many hours working on
Brian even publishes a regular newsletter for clients
interested to learn what is happening in this tiniest ‘shipyard’ of all.