If you have been fortunate enough to enjoy the hobby of model rocketry for 60 years or so, as I have, you have had an opportunity to see many changes. Companies have come and gone and great innovation has occurred.
One unfortunate trend which has seemed to evole is the need for instant gratification. Gone are many of the old kits which required a little more time and skill to build. They have been replaced by ready-to-fly kits that come preassembled or low skill level kits with a variety of plastic parts that can be assembled in a matter of minutes. To be sure these kits offer a good introductory opportunity for the newcomers to the sport. However, from my standpoint, they leave sort of an empty, unfulfilled feeling.However, there is no need to despair. Through the able assistance of sources such as: Aerospace Specialty Products, Balsa Machining Service, Estes Industries Rocket Plans, JimZ Plans, Kurt's Decal Page, Mike Schmidt's Moldin' Oldies, Semroc Astronautics, Stickershock23 and Tango Papa Decals the past has been brought back to life. It is now possible to print plans, obtain parts and have decals made that allow anyone, with a little skill and patience, to literally recreate many of the great old discontinued kits from companies such as Centuri and Estes. With a little innovation perhaps you can even improve upon the original design (like replacing the plastic parachute with a ripstop nylon parachute to insure that your masterful creation is returned safely to earth for another flight in the near future).
(From left to right: Arcas, Astron Avenger, Astron Bandit, Astron Cobra, Astron Farside, Astron Sprint, Blue Bird Zero, Bullet, Cherokee-D, Defender)
makes custom machined parts: Roachwerks