Back in the Spring of last year, Victor and I dropped into Aérodrome Sainte Foy La Grande Fougueyrolles and we were both struck by what a nice little airfield it is. It’s a bit dog-eared and slightly down-at-heel much like many other small French airfields, but this was more than made up for by the amount of activity going on there. This was probably because the airfield supports both a GA flying club and a gliding club, both of which were very much in evidence on the day that we landed.

A few days ago I noticed that there was an update available for my copy of X-Plane installed on my PC and after installing it, as the only flying I’m going to be doing for the next few weeks will continue to be ‘virtual’ flying, I thought that I’d check to see what kind of a job X-Plane had made of Sainte Foy la Grande.

Well, to be honest I was rather disappointed as the scenery in the sim bore no relationship whatsoever to what’s actually present there on the ground. And not only that, but there were also programming errors with buildings not standing on the ground and floating in the air and so on.

I couldn’t remember seeing these problems when I first looked at the scenery some time ago so I ended up contacting X-Plane, making my feelings known and suggesting that they reverted to the ‘old’ scenery version that in my view was better.

You can probably guess what happened. They replied saying that yes they would correct the errors, but that actually the scenery present hadn’t changed at all and the version in the updated software was exactly the same as before and that if I wanted to make any ‘improvements’ I could use their updated update as a starting point!

This, of course, placed me in a tricky position and to cut a long story short I said that not only wouldn’t I do that, as the scenery was so amateurish, but that I’d make a new one myself that would be better. So that served me right!

I didn’t think that it would take too long though, and still don’t, as the airfield is quite small with not too many buildings and other ‘objects’ to model. Plus, although I don’t have many original photographs to go from, I have all of the textures that I created for my Figeac-Livernon scenery that I can use directly or adapt. So I got going on Saturday and here’s where I’ve got to so far.

First, a few shots that I took when we landed there.

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Now some screen shots of my new Sainte Foy la Grande X-Plane scenery.

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There’s still a little way to go but I’ve already broken the back of it. I’ve created all of the textures that I’ve used from scratch by hand and two or three of the ones visible in the screen shots are just temporary (I won’t say which ones) so as to work out the correct sizes and fits. It won’t take long, however, to finalise these and install proper ones and then it’ll be on to installing the miscellaneous bits and pieces and accessories that bring a scenery to life, including human figures that are totally absent in the existing scenery.

And finally I’ll have to spend a few hours planting trees just as I’ve done with the other sceneries that I’ve created. Fortunately although time-consuming (but worth it) the physical effort involved is significantly less than doing it for real 😉