John Batchelor (illustrator)
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John Henry Batchelor MBE (born 1936) is an English artist and technical illustrator, particularly known for his clear and detailed illustrations of vehicles and military equipment. His work can be seen in many late-20th-century works on armour, fighting vehicles, ships, firearms, etc. (for example the many works of Ian V. Hogg). Batchelor's work is particularly sought after by scale model makers for its accuracy. He has also provided illustrations for technical interest publications such as The Aeroplane.
Batchelor was born and brought up in Essex, leaving home aged 16 to travel the world for two years before joining the RAF aged 18. After leaving the RAF he worked in the technical illustration departments of Bristol Aeroplane Company, Saunders-Roe and Martin-Baker, developing a hobby of drawing and painting antique pistols and becoming adept at portraying metal and wood finishes.
As a freelance illustrator he worked first on boys' papers including The Eagle, then in 1966 he became involved with Purnell's partwork History of the Second World War, for which he produced a total of 1163 illustrations. This partnership extended to the same publisher's subsequent History of the First World War and Encyclopedia of modern Weapons and Warfare.
He has also been commissioned by commercial organisations, notably Trans World Airlines, to produce reference illustrations for historical and technical publications.
John Batchelor has designed during his career almost 900 stamps for 49 countries in 25 years which probably makes him the world's premier stamp illustrator.