I ended up buying two birdhouses for $3 each - one rocket shaped one and one Eiffel tower (more below), some 4" wide balsa stock, and some plywood. The wood was all Revell brand and is better quality than I'm used to at Michael's. At least the balsa is. It is very dense and stiff, which I think is a plus. I have no immediate plans for the balsa but the plywood will go into the Big Brute replacement. I have no time line, but that build will happen.
Now for the birdhouses (see photo).
- The Michael's Rocket Birdhouse Rocket (MRBR-1) - I started by cutting the top conical section off. I saw a build thread on YORF, which used a BT-55 stuffer. The hole in the middle of the rocket did fit a BT-55 well but, unfortunately, it was way off center. So, I expanded it to fit a BT-60 instead using a curved wood rasp. I marked the center of the 'tail cone' using the fins as a guide and will drill a hole for a 24mm motor tube using a hole saw. The body is too long for my press, I found my plug in drill unexpectedly died, and my portable drill needs charging. (So, I need a Harbor Freight sale or coupon too.) I need some parts to continue.
- Eiffel Tower - I am not sure what I want to do with this one. I'd like to use 'aerobrake' recovery, but it may be too heavy. The alternative is to rear eject a 'chute or streamer. So far, all I've done is remove the base.