It was about 30 years ago that I last built a model rocket. Now my kids are interrested in it so we bought some Estes kits and two packs of A engines at the hobby store. Besides everything being more expensive (what isn't) it seems that there is now a dearth of available parts. Used to be that Estes sold every part they used in their kits separatly. Now only a few things are available, and then only in 'assortment packs'. The hobby shops don't carry 'dope or sanding sealer anymore, so what do you use to fill and finish balsa wood? All the nose cones are now plastic anyway, gone are the balsa nosecones and tube reducing sections. I think I can still get blocks and sheets of balsa wood, I have a lathe and can turn my own, but what to paint it with?
Gone are the B14 and D13 engines (the latter throttled back a bit to D12 and D11). Estes now makes C11 and E9's (but no E9 booster engines). I thought I saw a google link about Estes F engines, maybe they tried 'em and gave up to the patriot act, or it was a miss print (aerotech makes F's?) Also Gone are Enerjets (I used to LOVE those F67's), and MiniMax engines. Also the Bxxt engines made by someone other than Estes. (OK is my age showing?)
So what do you guys do to build 'custom' rockets, where do you get your parts?