How To Make A Fake Brick Prop  

by Matt Hawkins, 06/12/2005

This guide shows how I made a fake sponge brick for one of our scenes in Hollow Point. We needed a fake brick which we could throw at the windscreen of a car without smashing it.

Introduction : The fake brick I made consisted of a sponge body with a wooden core. The wood gave the brick some added weight which allowed it to fly through the air without looking like a sponge and without getting affected by the wind.

The finished brick was slightly bigger than a real brick. This was due to the size of sponges I used but also meant the brick would be slightly more visible on screen when whizzing past the windscreen. As with all the guides on this site you can alter the method to suit your requirements or material availability.

- 3 Sponges (for example car sponges)
- PVA wood glue
- A sharp pair of scissors
- Small pair of scissors or craft knife
- Bits of scrap wood
- Sellotape
- Brown spray paint (preferably spray can variety)

Step 1 : Cut The Sponge To Size
Fake Brick Photo

To save effort in cutting the sponge I decided to base the bricks dimensions on the size of the bits of sponge I already had. You may have to do more cutting if your sponges are too big. You may have to use more than three if they are too small! The two large pieces are complete sponges. The smaller piece is the third sponge which I trimeed with a pair of kitchen scissors. This gave me three pieces which when arranged together gave a block of sponge.

Step 2 : Cut The Wood To Size
To make the wood core I took a piece of scrap wood and cut into three short lengths. The length was determined by the total length of the sponge brick. When put side-by-side these pieces of wood gave the brick a reasonable amount of weight. Obviously you don't want to make it too heavy especially if you are going to be throwing it at cars or actors. The exact number and size of the wooden strips will depend on the scrap wood available.

Step 3 : Cut Out Inserts In Sponge
Fake Brick Photo I used a felt tip pen to roughly mark out the position of the wooden core within the brick. Using a small pair of scissors on my pen knife I carefully removed chunks of sponge until the wooden core fitted snuggly within the sponge brick.

Step 4 : Check Fit Of Wood Core
Fake Brick Photo Check the wood core fits inside the first sponge section and remove sponge with the small scissors as required.

Step 5 : Check Fit Of Wood Core
Fake Brick Photo Check the wood core fits inside the other sponge sections and remove sponge with the small scissors as required.

Step 6 : Stick Sponge And Wood Together
Fake Brick PhotoWood glue was smeared between the wooden blocks and within the cut out inserts. The wooden blocks were placed into the sponge inserts. More wood glue was smeared over the sponge surfaces and the pieces where assembled. I had to use a lot of wood glue. The sponge absorbed a fair amount and I probably used four times more than I originally planned. Once assembled I held the whole brick together using sellotape. The sellotape kept all the surfaces in contact with each other while the glue dried over night.

Step 7 : Paint Brick
Once the wood glue within the brick was dry I removed the sellotape and spray painted the outside with some red-brown spray paint. Half an hour later I gave it a final coat.

Step 8 : The Finished Brick
Fake Brick Photo Here you can see pictures of the finished brick. It is a close approximation and far from perfect. It didn't need to be an exact replica because it was only going to be seen on screen for two seconds.

Author : Matt Hawkins  Last Edit By : Matt Hawkins
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