Friday 29th was a glorious day with a high of 29 degrees Celsius and after turning the idea over a few times in my mind, I decided to take a ride down to Aérodrome Figeac-Livernon in the Lot. It’s only 60 or so miles away, but here in rural France that means a journey time of 1½ hours whichever route you take.
Some readers may recall that I landed at Figeac last summer in the Savannah and I happened to take a few photographs at the time. I’ve been passing my time lately designing airfield sceneries for the X-Plane flight simulator and having just completed Castillonnès LF4722, I was thinking what to move onto next.
Sure, I’ve got Malbec and even Galinat in ‘work-in-progress’ but always in the back of my mind was the flight I did landing at Figeac, having also taken in Égletons in the Corrèze and Aurillac in the Auvergne. When I checked, I found that there are already passable X-Plane sceneries for Égletons and Aurillac so it seemed sensible to bang out a scenery for Figeac-Livernon.
And I was really pleased with the results that were coming out, as can be seen from the shots later on in this post. Now it just so happens that the ULM Club de Quercy building is the first and the main one any visiting pilot sees when arriving at Figeac, and I was lucky that I could make a very close model of it using Sketchup and my photographs.
But then it occurred to me that this was not enough. I hadn’t taken any significant shots of the hangars or any other installations on the airfield, and if my scenery was to do justice to the venue, I needed to rectify that position.
So that’s why I headed off down there and in some ways it was a weird feeling as I approached the airfield, as though I was taking part in my own scenery! Here’s a general shot of part of the ULM club building.
OK, so now let’s look a bit more closely at some real shots and some shots of my model taken from different angles.
You can see why I’m so pleased with how it’s coming out! I’ve even managed to model the wall-mounted air conditioning unit and the four post boxes in 3D because it’s so much esier to do so in Sketchup than in Gmax, the 3D design software that I was using when making sceneries for MS FS2004 and FSX.
Now just a whole series of shots of the model. I’ve had to leave out the hangars, which for the time being are untextured. But not for much longer!
And to finish off, a couple of general shots showing what I mean about needing quality shots to do the scenery justice. The second hangar shot is not one that I will use as it was taken ‘angle-on’ to the hangar side. I could have ‘knocked up’ some hangar textures from pics that I’d found on the internet, but I’d never have been happy with them and they would never be able to stand up against the real things!
My thanks to the aeroclub’s chief instructor, Bernard d’Abbadie d’Arrast, who I bumped into while I was there and was perfectly happy to allow a complete stranger to wander around the airfield taking lots of photographs after I’d explained what I was up to. Mind you, I paid dearly for my excursion. By the time I arrived home, I felt awful and this feeling continued right through Saturday such that I spent the whole day in bed.
And to make matters worse, after feeling very woozy while I ws getting ready for bed on Saturday evening, the next thing I knew I was waking up in a crumpled heap on my kitchen floor. I have to say, that did give me bit of a shock (it’s that ruddy white blood count again) and it’s something that I’ll have to raise on Monday/Tuesday when I get the results of Monday’s blood test.