"Estes hasn't made a NEW balsa nose cone in over six years now. All the balsa cones in kits today are from stock we are trying to use up. We no longer have a balsa vendor. And NO I'm pretty sure Balsa Machining and Semroc would not be able to supply the TENS of Thousands of balsa cones we would need each year at a competitive price."
What? No more balsa nose cones from Estes?
Over the past few years we've seen short notes in kits talking about a worldwide balsa shortage. If the balsa price has gone too high it's probably cheaper to go with plastic. These days the average builder doesn't take the time (or know how) to fill balsa grain anyway.