Do you select a short rocket or a long rocket? Short rockets require heavy weights in the nosecone to keep the center of gravity forward of the center of pressure. This required weight can rob the flight from extra feet of altitude. There is not much room for parachutes and all the other goodies us rocketeers love to jam into them, such as GPS, radio trackers, altimeters, video cameras, and timers. Longer rockets do not require extra nose weight and have more room for toys, but sometimes require special transportation to the field. I personally have had my VW bug packed with rockets hanging out the window and prayed to the rocket gods for good weather the entire day.
There are scale model rockets, sport rockets, just for fun rockets, and rocket projects that dreams are made of. Scale rockets are usually an exact replica in scale of another rocket and tend to exhibit much detail, such as the Saturn V. Scale rockets require much work and if the job is well done, are pieces of art.
Remember, these are being built to fly and eventually your piece of art will have to take to the skies and come under scrutiny of the rocket gods. Many a tear will be shed and the dog kicked if the scaled rocket flight is less then perfect.
Sport rockets usually resemble a recognizable rocket such as the V2, but without the detail. Sport rockets require less work and perform just as well. Everyone will recognize a Patriot Missile or a German V2 whether the exhaust nozzle is a 16 th inch out of whack or missing entirely, especially when the rocket is flying in the clouds above. It is the shape of the rocket that people will recognize the most.
Just for fun rockets are rockets that are built to fly and show off. They could resemble a witch on a broom or Bender the Robot. I have seen them made from Pringle containers to a discarded Christmas tree. Sometimes they could be a regular rocket that did not require much work and you will not mind flying it in less than ideal weather or even sending it to extreme altitudes. Almost all rockets eventually end their lives as just for fun rockets.
The rocket projects that dreams are made of are usually level 3 rockets that require much work and even more financing. Many times these are group projects where the work and costs are shared. These are amazing projects. MDRA did the Liberty Project and more recently assisted Steve Eves with the group effort of the record breaking Saturn V.
Now that you know where the rocket is going to fly, how much to spend, rocket length and type, you can move on to construction of your rocket.
Rocket flew but failed to produce enough Gs to arm the electronics. The electronics never detected launch and the rocket performed a core sample on return. Not good!