Alan Shubrook

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Alan Shubrook
BornAlan Kenneth Shubrook
Wansted, Essex, UK

Alan Shubrook is a British model-maker and a member of the special effects team for AP Films and Century 21 Film Studios, who joined the company in 1966. He worked on 'Thunderbirds',Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, Joe 90, Thunderbird 6' (Feature Film)', The Secret Service, 'Doppleganger' (feature film) and UFO.[citation needed]

Early life[edit]

At only 15 years of age Alan had his own band, playing at various functions every weekend. He played the clarinet, which he learned whilst still at school.

In the early 1960s, aged only 18, Alan became the official photographer for the West Ham United Football team. He travelled with the team, which included Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters, to every away game, capturing all the action for various newspaper groups and the official West Ham match programmes.

Shubrook made models in his spare time at the age of 19, and when he noticed that Century 21 Studios had a vacancy for a scenic artist, he rang and asked for an interview despite not knowing what a scenic artist was. Having been told that only somebody with previous experience in the film industry would be considered, Shubrook did not get an interview. The following day, he rang the studio again to no avail. Ultimately, on the third day of trying, Shubrook was given an appointment.

A few days later, Shubrook arrived at the Century 21 Films studio and brought examples of his model-making work. After being taken on a tour of the studio, he was shown a large canvas backdrop designed to hang behind miniature sets. Shubrook was asked if he was capable of matching the storm sky that was painted to cover its entire length; unfortunately, this was not one of his skills. Afterwards, Shubrook was taken to a small room to await being escorted from the building. It was here that storyboard artist, model-maker and designer Mike Trim entered and asked if there was anything he could have a look at. Suspecting Trim felt sorry for him, Shubrook went out to his car to get a model of a house and some illustrations. Trim scrutinised Shubrook's work and left the room. He returned with Derek Meddings and it was revealed that Shubrook would start as a model-maker.[1]

Alan worked on over 100 episodes of various television series, including Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, Joe 90, Secret Service and UFO. He also worked on the Thunderbirds feature film and Doppelganger film. When the studios closed at the end of 1969, Alan was offered a position as senior graphic artist to a London-based newspaper group. While working there he was offered the position of special effects assistant on a new science fiction television series being produced at Pinewood Studios. Alan declined and went on to open his own advertising agency in Essex. The company employed over 20 people at its height and Alan was managing director for the next twenty years.

During this time he met his wife Bridget and together they had two sons, Martin (1976) and Paul (1979) They lived in Epping for 20 years. Later Alan and Bridget opened photographic businesses in Essex, including one in a new Asda superstore and a high street shop. Alan and Bridget retired when the shop leases expired and moved to a new family home in Chipping Ongar.

Alan's two sons published a book on the work that he had undertaken at the Century 21 Studios back in the mid 1960s. Copies were sent all around the globe and it sold out very quickly. It was reprinted ten years later to meet the demand from fans worldwide. Alan also produced a follow-up book in 2016 which covered the final days of the studio buildings before they were demolished in 2017.


  1. ^ Thunderbirds: A Complete Guide to the Classic Series