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Scenery Review: Antarctica Mega Scenery XP12 by HSimulators

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Scenery Review: Antarctica Mega Scenery XP12 by HSimulators

By Nick Garlick


I am both thrilled and privileged to return once more to share with you my insights and impressions on the newest addition to the X-Plane 12 scenery library: Antarctica Mega Scenery XP12 by HSimulators. As we embark on this new journey, let's turn our compasses southward this time, to the other forgotten extreme of our planet: Antarctica.

The Antarctic, a desolate, icy wilderness at the southernmost part of the globe, has, much like its northern counterpart, been largely overlooked in the world of flight simulation. Despite its vast expanse, spanning over 5.5 million square miles and including the South Pole itself, Antarctica is practically non-existent in the default X-Plane landscape.

As I previously highlighted in my review of HSimulators' Grand Arctic XP12, the default installation of X-Plane, unfortunately, offers only sparse coverage of the world's polar regions. Exploring beyond latitude seventy-four north or sixty south reveals a desolate void, filled not by the expected expanse of ice and snow but by featureless, open water.

Thankfully, HSimulators once again steps into the breach with their Antarctica Mega Scenery XP12. Building upon the success of their Arctic scenery, this new package aims to provide a comprehensive solution for this neglected region of the world. It covers a vast area that includes not only the Antarctic mainland, but also numerous research stations, airstrips, and points of interest scattered across the continent.

Having thoroughly enjoyed their Grand Arctic scenery, I was eager to see how HSimulators' latest offering would compare. Can it effectively fill the icy void in X-Plane's world, and will it manage to capture the harsh, but often breathtaking beauty of the Antarctic landscape? Join me as I explore these questions, and many others, in this detailed review of Antarctica Mega Scenery XP12.



Installation & Documentation
Considering the sheer magnitude of the Antarctic continent, the 7GB download size of the package comes as no surprise. Unzipping the files will have you carving out a hefty 31GB of space on your hard drive – hopefully, a testament to the scale and detail captured within this add-on.

The installation process is as straightforward as they come, as it’s just a case of dragging and dropping the 'Custom Scenery' and 'Global Scenery' folders into your X-Plane 12 directory. HSimulators have, in this regard, stripped the process down to bare bones, making it accessible even for users new to scenery add-ons. However, this straightforwardness also presents a significant shortcoming.

The absence of documentation included with the download is notable and quite disappointing. While the simplicity of the installation might mitigate this issue for experienced users, those new to X-Plane could find themselves at sea without explicit guidance. Moreover, the lack of accompanying information for the numerous locations featured in this package feels like a missed opportunity. Maps, charts, or even simple descriptions could have provided invaluable context to users venturing into these visually stunning, yet unfamiliar landscapes. Hopefully, HSimulators will address this issue in future updates.


Scenery & 3D Objects Quality
Any addition to the limited default scenery of the poles in X-Plane is always a noteworthy event, and HSimulators' Antarctica Mega Scenery XP12 definitely rises to the occasion. The expansive polar wilderness isn't merely a barren expanse of ice in this sim; the intricate terrain details breathe life into the Antarctic landscape.

Indeed, HSimulators have skilfully painted a comprehensive picture of Antarctica, complete with visible mountains and plateaus that punctuate the ice. The coastal regions, in particular, are generally well-rendered, albeit with a few anomalies. Some shorelines might appear a bit inconsistent, and mountain spikes might be a tad conspicuous in a few spots. Still, considering the monumental task of recreating an entire continent's worth of diverse terrain, these minor aberrations within the custom mesh can be easily overlooked.

When it comes to 3D objects, I would say that they are adequate and do a reasonably good job of conveying the objects seen at numerous bases. However, it's important to note that there is a degree of artistic license used in the design of these elements. Some objects that have been included may not exist in their real-world locations but serve to enhance the overall aesthetic and immersive qualities of the scenery. This is not necessarily a drawback, but rather an artistic choice that gives the scenery its unique character.


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Quality does vary though, with some objects being a lot better than others, with the living quarters at some of the bases being excellent examples. Some of the other objects, such as a few of the vehicles and smaller huts, could use improvement, as I noticed some subpar textures and unwanted shine on a few of them which looked rather unnatural. However, much like the mesh, the overall effect is quite pleasing.

With the above taken into account, the overall impression of Antarctica Mega Scenery XP12 is of a barren and isolated landscape dotted with unique and interesting bases. Each base, with its unique set of objects and structures, lends an authentic feel to the harsh Antarctic environment. With room for improvement in some areas, HSimulators has nonetheless done a commendable job at delivering a scenery package that makes the unforgiving Antarctic landscape come alive in X-Plane 12.


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Key Locations
The sheer breadth and diversity of this package is such, that it would be beyond the scope of a single review to explore each of the forty-four locations in detail. Instead, I have chosen to focus on eight select destinations that I believe exemplify the quality and variety of this expansive scenery pack.

These locations, carefully selected from the array of available bases, stations, and airfields, offer a cross-section of the different settings and challenges you'll encounter in this Antarctic scenery. From the bustling activity of McMurdo Station to the icy runways of Williams Field, these seven locations each tell their unique story within the stark, beautiful landscape of Antarctica.

Rothera Research Station (EGAR) - UK: Rothera Station, the UK's principal Antarctic hub, stands as a testament to human determination against the unforgiving Antarctic environment. The station's coastal location presents captivating vistas of stark white glaciers meeting the steel-blue sea, an experience that really stands out in the sim. As you navigate through the array of facilities, the immersive depiction of Rothera Station effectively captures the essence of its challenging climate and natural scientific intrigue.


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McMurdo Station (NZIR) - USA: As the largest and most complex Antarctic outpost, McMurdo Station presents a unique facet of Antarctic habitation within X-Plane. Numerous buildings, representative of the station's multifaceted operations, create a bustling hub of activity. Each structure, despite some not aligning perfectly with the custom mesh, adds to the realism and enhances the sense of being part of this essential survival outpost. 


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Sanae IV (A22) - South Africa: In the icy expanses of Queen Maud Land, the Sanae IV base is a tangible testament to human presence amidst a stark, monochrome landscape. The sim presents an array of huts, snowploughs, and even a parked C130, giving a sense of real-world Antarctic operations. Dominating the scene is the large outpost structure with its integral helipad. Exploring this base in X-Plane 12 offers a unique insight into the challenges of surviving and working in this remote, icy wilderness.


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Neumayer Station III (EDDN) - Germany: Located in Antarctica's icy expanse is Neumayer Station III, Germany's primary Antarctic research facility. The station's elevated design, mounted on stilts to withstand snow accumulation, is captured quite effectively in X-Plane. The airstrip, including another static C130, plus several snowploughs and huts, add to the authenticity and intrigue of this remote location. The nearby radar dome further enriches the scene, providing a comprehensive and immersive experience for users.


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Halley VI Research Station AT11 (EGAH) - UK: Situated on the Brunt Ice Shelf, the Halley VI Research Station stands as a futuristic beacon amid the Antarctic wilderness. Its stilted, modular design, portrayed quite accurately in X-Plane, provides a sense of the innovative engineering necessary to withstand this harsh, shifting environment. Of all the locations in this package, Halley VI stands out as one of the most intriguing, not only for its detailed modelling but also for its modernistic, captivating design. 


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Rodolfo Marsh Martin Airfield (SCRM) - Chile: This Chilean station, located at the edge of Antarctica, is a noteworthy addition to the sim. Its proximity to the shoreline presents an interesting contrast between the rugged airfield and the surrounding icy expanse. The airfield, with its simple yet functional features, exemplifies the practical necessities of life in this harsh environment. 


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Williams Field (NZWD) - USA: As an essential airfield serving the McMurdo area, Williams Field effectively captures the vast and intricate landscape of this unique location. X-Plane does well in replicating the ice runway and surrounding facilities, delivering an insightful glimpse into the unique challenges faced by Antarctic aviation personnel. The scenery is teeming with numerous huts and maintenance vehicles, contributing to the sense of a bustling, fully operational outpost.  Despite the presence of some minor graphical anomalies on certain objects, their impact on the overall experience is negligible.


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Palmer Station (NZ12) - USA: Located on the Antarctic Peninsula, Palmer Station provides a unique contrast with its coastal setting and smaller size. Its proximity to the ocean gives users a distinct Antarctic experience, differing from the predominantly inland stations. This variety makes it an intriguing component of the sim, highlighting the diverse geographic and operational challenges present in Antarctica.


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In assessing Antarctica Mega Scenery XP12 by HSimulators, it's hard not to appreciate the sheer magnitude of the undertaking. The vast expanse of the Antarctic continent has been transformed into a tangible, explorable, and remarkably detailed environment. It's a change of scenery that X-Plane 12 users have long been waiting for.

Performance-wise, the scenery is commendable as it offers excellent framerates no matter what the weather. The barren landscape of Antarctica, far from being a disadvantage, has contributed to making this a smooth-running addition to the sim. Even when exploring more densely populated bases, or navigating complex terrains, the performance remains consistently good, which is a testament to the efficient design and implementation of this scenery package.



However, one disappointment is the lack of documentation accompanying the package. The absence of guides, maps or charts, and additional information on the various bases and locations, feels like a missed opportunity. It would significantly enhance the user experience and, I hope, is something that the developers will consider for future updates.

At US$29, some might argue that the purchase price is quite steep for a scenery add-on. However, when you consider the geographical breadth of the package, over five million square miles of diverse Antarctic terrain, and the meticulous detailing of forty-four separate locations, it becomes clear that you're getting a significant return for your investment.

While the inconsistencies noted in areas such as object detailing and shoreline rendering, along with the degree of artistic license employed in some parts, are worth acknowledging, they do not significantly detract from the overall experience. Given the size and complexity of the project, minor blemishes are almost to be expected. Importantly, they do not diminish the thrill of venturing into previously uncharted territories in X-Plane 12.


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In conclusion, Antarctica Mega Scenery XP12 is a daring and ambitious project that has largely succeeded in its goal. It offers a rare and exciting opportunity for X-Plane pilots to explore the often-overlooked Antarctic region. Whether you're captivated by the stark beauty of its landscape or intrigued by the challenge of its harsh conditions, this scenery pack is an invitation to a unique and compelling polar adventure. So, fire up your engines, adjust your flight plan southwards, and embark on an Antarctic journey that's sure to be both memorable and rewarding.






Antarctica Mega Scenery XP12 by HSimulators is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here:


Antarctica Mega Scenery XP12

Priced at US$29.00



  • Mesh terrain covering more than five million square miles (over thirteen million km2)
  • Forty-four airports, heliports, and localities

3D Airports

  • Tnt Rodolfo Marsh Martin - SCRM - Chile
  • Amundsen - Scoth South Pole - NZSP _USA
  • Sanae IV - At22 - South Africa
  • Byrd Surface Skiway - BIRD - USA
  • Progress Station - PGRS - Russia
  • Zhongshan Station - China - Served by Progress Station
  • Novolazarevskaya - AT17 - Russia
  • Mario Zuccelli Station - AT13 - Italy
  • Enigma Lake- AT-09 Nova Zelandia
  • Browning Pass - AT02 - New Zealand
  • Palmer Station - NZ12 - USA
  • Concordia Skiway - AT03 - France / Italy
  • Dumont d'Urville Station - AT04 - France
  • Plough Island Skiway- PLGI - Australia
  • Kunlun - KULU - China
  • Davis Plateau - AT07 - Australia
  • Davis Sea Ice - ATAU - Australia
  • Druzhnaya 4- DRUZ - Russia
  • Fossil Buff - AT10 - UK
  • Halley Research Station - AT11(EGAH) - (discrepancy in navdata - EGAH) - UK
  • Rothera Research Station - EGAR - UK
  • McMurdo Station- NZIR - USA
  • Kohnen Station - AT12 - Germany
  • Marambion Base Station - SAWB - Argentina
  • Marble Point Station - GC07 - USA
  • Mawson Station - AT21 - Australia
  • Mid Point Skiway - AT14 - France / Italy
  • Molodezhnaya - AT15 - Russia
  • Neumayer Station - AT16 - Germany
  • Odel Glacier Skiway - AT18 - New Zealand
  • OHiggins Station - AT19 - Chile
  • Ohiggins Station HLPN - OGGN - Chile
  • Patriot Hills - SCPZ - USA
  • Willians Field - NZWD - USA
  • Pegasus Field - NZWD - USA
  • Phoenix Airfield - NZFX - USA
  • Plateau Station - NZFX - USA
  • Troll Station - AT27 - Norway

2D Airports (in development 3D)

  • Petrel Station - SA47 - Argentina
  • Perseu Temporary Airfield - PRSU
  • Rumdoodle Station - AT28 - Australia
  • S17 - JS17 - Japan



X-Plane 12
Windows Mac or Linux
4 GB VRAM Video Card. 8Gb+ VRAM Recommended
Download size: 7.5 GB.
Current version: 1.0 (January 18th, 2023)


Review by Nick Garlick

7th July 2023

Copyright©2022: X-Plane Reviews


Review System Specifications: 

Windows 10, Intel 4790K liquid-cooled, overclock to 5GHz, 32GB DDR3 1600MHz RAM, Nvidia GTX 1070ti, Titanium HD Audio Card.


(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




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