Global defence companies around the world rely on Mr French’s hand-made prototypes to help secure government contracts worth billions of dollars.

Even though Mr French's creations are in high demand, you won't find his office in London or New York. Every part is painstakingly made by hand, at his Uralla workshop in regional NSW, a town of little more than 2,000 people.

Mr French has been building models all his life.

But nearly 20 years into a successful Australian Navy career, an opportunity to swap life at sea for building military models full-time was too good to pass.

And although it was now almost two decades since he left the navy, it was his military career that was giving him an edge when creating new designs.

Most of Mr French's work is custom-built, piece by piece, from blank sheet and rods of plastic.

When creating a new prototype, his first-hand knowledge of how a ship worked helped him craft a more accurate model.

Over the years, Mr French has received visits from VIPs like the Governor-General, and his customers have included a French president, a Canadian prime minister — the Pentagon even holds one of his models.


Credit: ABC News 
Photo: ABC New England Matt Bedford