Lightman Posted February 26 Report Share Posted February 26 Scenery Review: Pack Bretagne: LFRE La Baule + LFEQ Quiberon By Felicity Smith Introduction Bonjour mon ami, c’est moi, Felicity! As you may have already guessed, this review has a positively European flavour to it, namely… French. For those of you who are already familiar with my previous reviews, you will know I have a soft spot for the smaller, more quaint airports of the world. The ones that are quite content just sitting quietly, minding their own business, while their larger, busier counterparts work around the clock getting an endless stream of people to the places they want to go. So, with that in mind, I will be looking at two small French airports situated in coastal Brittany – La Baule-Escoublac and Quiberon. Our first stop takes us to La Baule-Escoublac (LFRE). Unsurprisingly, being situated on the sunny coast of Brittany, it is a popular destination for holidaymakers and has been so for over a century. This is with plenty of reason, for not only do you have a wonderful bay (dubbed "the most beautiful in Europe", admittedly a biased description by the local tourist board!) but the town itself is steeped in history, from Nantes Castle to the Musee Aeronautique Presqu'ile Cote d'Amour – a historical collection of French aircraft all painstakingly restored to their former flying glory. Incidentally, should you wish to visit this museum, you would not have far to go as it is located at the airport. Having sampled the many delights of La Baule, our next stop is Quiberon (LFEQ). Another popular holiday destination, Quiberon also offers much to see and do, but it is also commonly known for its sardine production (sardines for breakfast anyone?) out of the tourist season. A starry snippet of trivia with which to wow the younger crowd; Quiberon is the home of a professional Quidditch team operating within the fictional Harry Potter universe. The Quiberon Quafflepunchers team players wear shocking-pink robes. Download & Installation Upon purchasing the package, I was kindly provided with download links for both X-Plane 11 and 12, the size of which was a rather hefty 3.6GB each. Once downloaded, it was a straightforward task of extracting the file and placing the newly created three folders into my X-Plane Custom Scenery directory (making sure the included object library was placed below the two airport entries). Documentation Contained within each airport folder are manuals, both in French and English, plus charts of the included areas. The manuals are carefully done and cover areas such as installation, recommended settings for the package, and how to use the “opening hangar door” plugin. Walkabout Note: for the purpose of this review, I have installed both sceneries into a fresh install of X-Plane 12, with no other sceneries, libraries, or photographic scenery added. LFRE- La Baule Escoublac As you come into land at LFRE, you will notice the absence of any kind of photographic overlay, a common addition to most payware airports. This, unfortunately (depending on what you are used to), means you are greeted by X-Plane’s default ground textures. This regrettably, has an impact on how you perceive the airport, especially in terms of immersion. I mention this because if like me you have photographic scenery installed for places you frequently fly into, then the vanilla textures offered by Laminar Research can be a hard pill to swallow at times. However, if on the other hand default textures are what you are used to, then LFRE looks perfectly acceptable on approach. I do recommend installing photographic scenery for the area though, as I feel it would boost the immersion factor considerably. Once on the ground, you are free to explore to your heart’s desire, not that this would take very long. Much like the real La Baule, this X-Plane rendition stays truthful in the fact that there isn’t a whole lot to see within the airport perimeter. In saying that, what you do see is done remarkably well, with obvious care and attention. One of those areas is the 3D modelling and texture work employed on the numerous airport buildings. The small FBO building deserves a special mention as I found it to be extremely well done, especially the weathered textures; suitably fitting for an airport situated by the sea. The hangars too were nicely modelled, not quite at the same level as the FBO building, but good enough to feel authentic. On a slightly negative note, it was a shame that I found the copious amounts of 3D grass to be such a performance hog. I’ll be the first to admit that my PC isn’t the latest or greatest, but I was rather frustrated by the performance hit, especially when I can explore airports with twice as many buildings and features without any kind of framerate hit. I was also disappointed to see (or not) that there were no people present at the airport, something which I feel is strongly needed with an airport of this size. With large international airports, you can lose yourself somewhat with the comings and goings of airport traffic, but with an airport of this size, you really do need to have a few people present, static or otherwise. LFEQ - Quiberon, France Our next stop is Quiberon located about thirty-seven miles to the northwest. As with La Boule, if you do not have photographic scenery installed for this area, you are again relying on X-Plane default textures, so my thoughts apply as before. However, once down, you are greeted by a rather pleasant environment. Much like La Baule, Quiberon is made up of a few hangars and maintenance facilities, plus the main FBO building. The detailing and modelling of these structures are of a high standard and really help create a sense that you are indeed at a small French airfield. I was most impressed with the FBO building, which even included its very own painted wall art, along with an exterior spiral staircase. Present here also was a rest area, complete with chairs and tables, but sadly no people (which would have finished the appearance). The Quiberon Air Club hut was another structure I was impressed with, most notably, the peeling paint, plus the sign and logo on the front of the hut, which I felt just completed its rather worn out (but loved) appearance. Ground textures overall are well done and suitable for their location, with the asphalt and tarmac textures around the buildings being of slightly better quality than those using the default X-Plane textures. Also present was the infamous 3D grass, but strangely, this didn’t seem to have so much of an impact this time around. Night Lighting The night lighting overall was very good, being suitably muted, with the effect striking just the right balance between having too much and too little. The runways at both airports are not lit, so it’s daylight operation only I’m afraid (safety first) Performance Being both small GA airports, I wasn’t expecting to have any issues in terms of performance, so (as mentioned above) I was quite surprised when I saw my framerate drop whilst exploring La Baule. This occurred mainly around areas where 3D grass was bountiful…namely the hangar areas, and behind the main airport building. Away from these locations, performance was what I expected, hence my assumption that it’s the large amounts of 3D grass at fault. Quiberon on the other hand performed well, with no noticeable slowdowns experienced during my walkabout. Photography Scenery As mentioned previously, this package was tested in X-Plane 12 using its default ground textures, as this is what most people have installed. However, intrigued to see how it would perform with a photo scenery added, I fired up X-Plane 11. You might be asking why I didn’t use X-Plane 12 and the answer is simple, I don’t have the VRAM it takes to run both the custom airports and the photographic element together at an acceptable level. With that said, hopefully, the screenshots included below will give you an idea of how the two sceneries work together. Our first set of images shows the airport, the town of La Baule and then onwards towards Quiberon: The final set of screenshots shows Pointe du Conguel and the airport and town of Quiberon: Conclusion I have to say that overall, I enjoyed my time at both La Baule and Quiberon, even if I do have certain misgivings about the package. Their proximity to each other allows for some highly enjoyable flights, which is greatly enhanced if you happen to have photographic scenery of the area installed. Speaking of which, I really do wish these little strips had orthos included as this would greatly enhance their appeal. As it is, you are left with default ground textures, which rather dampens the effect. There is also the fact that neither airport includes any people, plus the performance hit I experienced, so perhaps these are all areas the developer could look at. In terms of the numerous buildings found at the two airports, I found the 3D modelling and texturing to be of extremely high quality. The weathering applied to the building textures is excellent, and really helps add character. When it comes to pricing, I think it’s best to say, that this is a package you would have to think carefully about before purchasing. If you are concerned about the lack of orthos, the absence of people, or are already “performance limited” in X-Plane, then I would have to say that this is probably a package you should best avoid. However, if you have orthos of the scenery installed, enjoy flying around the beautiful coastline of Brittany, or have a connection with the area, then I would absolutely pick this package up, as I’m sure it will offer a high level of enjoyment for quite some time to come. Happy flying, safe living! _______________________________ Pack Bretagne: LFRE La Baule + LFEQ Quiberon by VFRScenery is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here: Pack Bretagne : LFRE La Baule + LFEQ Quiberon Priced at US$30.98 LFRE- La Baule Escoublac Priced at $19.99 LFEQ - Quiberon Priced at $19.99 Requirements X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac, or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 3.7 GB Current Version: 1.0 (December 8th 2022) Review by Felicity Smith 26th February 2023 Copyright©2022: X-Plane Reviews Review System Specifications: Windows 10, AMD Ryzen 5 2600 (overclocked to 4.1GHz), 1650 4Gb, 32GB RAM, 256 M.2 SSD, 2TB HD (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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