Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Аэропорт Кольцово. Our impression!

FS9/Soon for FSX. UPDATED! We only know him as Eugene 85. This is honestly too bad because after experiencing (or what i assume is) his first project, it's truly a shame we don't know who he is or anything about him. Is he part of a team or a lone sorcerer who rendered the FS masterpiece we know as Koltsovo Airport which lies just on the outskirts of the Russian city of Yekaterinburg. I've got about 77 pictures in here to prove just how good a job was done with this project and some very compelling reasons why you should get it to repel the reasons why most of you aren't. So with that said let's que the warning and get started: Bandwidth Warning! Lots of eye popping screenshots!

When I first saw the inital  in-development previews of this project, my excitement went through the roof. News that this would be a FS9 project sent this excitement even further until they ended in a screeching halt when I whipped up its location on google earth. This is by far the most isolated high quality scenery in the whole of FS. Now I am one of those people with limited time to enjoy my flight simulation and I am also one of those people that limit my commercial flying to airports covered with AES. Whereas this airport will have AES enabled in the near future, its location was still a major turn off. So why, might you ask did this West Coast American purchase an airport in the smack dab middle of Russia. A city I will admit wasn't even aware of until I learned of this project. Well the first reason is the amazing quality of this work. The second, is this airport is not as remote in FS as most of you may think.
Now bear in mind for those of you who have not previously read one of my impressions, these are not per se, reviews. There are a number of things covered in most reviews you won't find here. I won't go into system specs and all that mumbo jumbo. You will also find quite a bit more opinion, feelings, and thoughts. Ah! Personality! That's what you will find here. This is a scenery project that has lots of personality with a distinctive Russian flare. And that's because of it's sheer accuracy.
Now the first and foremost feature of this scenery that grabs attention of the eye is its most prominent. The control tower situated between terminals A and B. The photoreal glass and texturing on the tower model is so realistic I almost forget this is a simulated rendering. In fact, the entire main terminal model gives this feeling! I just can't seem to describe how well this was done. That's why I have help from my screenshots!
Now as I have mentioned before, I have just about every freeware AI package I can think of so I was very glad to see all the cool Russian aircraft I usually don't get to see in my Western airports. Some very cool aircraft and liveries out here!! A few I was able to capture in this article. Depending on the day of week and time of day, this airport can be teaming with AI traffic from Asia, Russia, and Western Europe.
The realism here is so good! There was no impact on frames here whatsoever. A very good technique used by the developer. This guy is not new to flight sim development! He clearly knows what he is doing! And he is doing it oh, so well!
The sheer quality, the detail, the glass, the photorealness displayed here clearly shows passion and pride in ones work. The developer had some very good access to the airport to get it this good!
I imagine these guys had to get pretty close with the camera to get it this good. And the GSE placed around the ramp areas? Very good too!!
Some very nice excutive cars waiting for someone important. Cars can be a very hard thing to get right. They got it just right! And did I mention they are animated? Yes, they are!
And on to the VIP terminal. I was not able to find much information like how old it is etc. But it's representation is 100% of the real world pictures I found online. This developer is good. Real good!! It's no wonder why the development process took as long as it did. I want to know who these guys are!!  Supposedly, it's very luxurious in there! Lets move around to the front shall we?
The complete terminals A&B modeled to perfection. Looks exactly as in real life. Superb!
Very realistic.
The complete terminals A&B modeled to perfection. Looks exactly as in real life. Superb!
Close up with a few cars in the lot.
Is this the real thing or FS9?? Looks the same to me!
Now here is another thing I love about this developer! He/they did not stop development at the terminal fence. There is a complete rendition of the surrounding town complete with accurate buildings and all. This is Mother Russia baby!! 
 Again, the look and feel of a Russian town captured perfectly!
 Beautiful photo textures and the curves, perfect!
The nearby town. Well done! I'll just shut up for a moment and let you enjoy the pictures. There is nothing worse then someone running their mouth while you try to enjoy the view...

 Ok talking again. The above photo is the national head quarters or Ural Airlines. Very nice building!!
 Here I love this so much!! It's the Koltsovo community Church. So lovely isn't it?
 ...and back to enjoying the town. Very Eastern European style isn't it? Some of these buildings are NOT communist era housing blocks. Some were in fact built within the last 10 years and have a rather newer look in real life. Believe me, I googled lots of photos of the surrounding area.

 Beautiful! So well done and note the custom trees. These guys pulled out all the stops!
 Like my clouds?? It's called REX baby!!
 Here is an overall shot of just how much town was modeled!
 And here is a google earth shot of the entire area covered.
Another shot of the Ural Airlines building in the distance.
 And those beautiful custom made trees!!
And speaking of which. As most of you know how much I make a big deal out of trees, shrubs, and plants, another pet peve of mine is ground textures. My mouth is hanging open...
All, just perfect. I love these guys! So with that said, there is something I noticed in this scenery that caught my eye in a way that I don't think a scenery ever has done before. What am I talking about? Roof textures! And not just textures, objects as well. Man the attention to detail here is just... well... look!
 There was no laziness here at all. These guys left in every detail! Amazing.
All the little bits and pieces included.
 I don't know why, but I really like that little security truck!!
 The hangar area..
I love fences and the gate here was a very nice touch. I can just imagine the time it took to get that just right!
 The high photo quality drops off a little bit though on this building...
Ok what else did he get right?? The jet bridges!! Very nicely done. Although, the airport operator should have gone with glass bridges...
 Very nice job here. I love taking shots like this!!
 Another entrance gate to the ramp area. Nicely done!
 More glass!! I just love this!!!
 Very nice textures!!
 More glass!!
 ....and more. I just love the attention to detail. So clearly seen in the work!!
 Terminal B with the town in the background.
 I could take these snapshots all day!!! I must stop!!
 And another shot of the Ural building! So glad they added it in! Ok let's go Winter!!!
Here is wintertime ground textures done right. I hate flying to airports where the runways and ramps appear so perfectly clear of snow debris. This is how I like to see it!! Other developers, take notes here!!
 Just another feature that makes this airport look sooo damn real!!!
 Nice cloud formations here! Nothing to do with the scenery, just thought i'd mention it...
 And the town in winter time!
 Let it snow!!
 Ok, obvoiusly this scenery looks great during the day... But let's drop the Sun and see what happens...
 I spoke earlier about AI traffic... YES!!
 So as you can see the Hotel has no lights besides the logo...
Here the night lighting looks great but so much is missing...
 I would think the terminal would have more lights on at night... Still has such an realistic look nonetheless.
 Getting darker now you can see the town is well lit.
All the street lamp objects light up at night! I just love that!!!

So overall what can I say about this project? Well again, we don't know anything about the developer. I have contacted him. He needs to know just how good a job he and his team did on this project. Nearly everything was perfect minus some missing night textures and some lesser quality photoreal textures on a few objects. There is even road traffic on the streets although a would prefer perhaps a bit more moving equipment on the ramp area. Also the areas modeled in glass are not lit at night either. I would propose an update for that.

So to get back to the second reason why I purchased this product. Like I said earlier, this airport is not as remote as you think. There are to my knowledge 3 other airports in the area that I consider to be of fairly good quality. The distance to all 3 from USSS is about the same as a flight from Heathrow to Ibiza. In a 757 or a heavy, that is a reasonably timed flight.

These are working links to get the nearby airports. The airports are as follows:

Freeware Tolmachevo airport: This airport is made by Tolmachevo TEAM and has a very payware-esque look to it. It is also AES compatible. *Just updated for 2012 this month!

Payware Moscow Domodedovo: This airport is made by IGFly and is available for $27 bucks. Nowhere near as good but it does have AES compatibility as well.

Freeware Nizhnevartovsk airport: This freeware scenery from now defunct fs-proteam. This level of quality is similar to the freeware Tolmachevo. It also includes AES. Took me quite a while to find a working download.

Freeware Khanty-Mansiysk airport: This is the first airport project from Eugene. It's the closest airport to Koltsovo. Like a 30Min flight. It does not have AES support but hopefully he can sort it out in the future. I'm sure this would help sales too!
Between these 4 airports you should fair out pretty well. And I am quite sure there are several other freeware airports in the area from the Russian Avsim sites.

And if you don't mind an extra 25 minutes to the flight, there is Aerosoft Vilnius and Dzrewiecki Design is working on Tallinn EETN for 2013.

So now you have no more excuses. I have just given you 75 reasons why you should get it. It is truly a remarkable scenery and this is my longest damn impression yet. I hope I didn't waste my time.

UPDATE! The developer did get in contact with me. As it turns out after all, he did this project on his own. This is his second project to date. (the first is posted above)

Due to the rampant piracy in Russia, he is currently uncertain if he will start development on a third project. He is currently working on a project that I am not at liberty to discuss. Hopefully, with the help of this review, more individuals who are on the fence will break down and buy it. Thanks again to Eugene and we wish him the best of luck in the future and thanks for opening the doors to the East!

Thanks to Carolyn my wife for proof reading this garbage! (probably what she thinks it is...)

Cheers and happy simming!

Yours always!

((-D'))  D'Andre 

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Anonymous said...

Also i can recomend Antalya and Larnaca.. Ural flies there

Anonymous said...

Looks nice, not many eastern payware airports around.

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