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Scenery Review: Aeroporto Cristoforo Colombo LIMJ by BCSceneries


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Scenery Review: Aeroporto Cristoforo Colombo LIMJ by BCSceneries

 

Currently, in the X-Plane world, we have two scenery offerings of LIMJ, an Aerosoft one and one by LIMJ of which is the subject of this review. The current version is 4 and there is a discount offered if you have previously purchased version 2 or 3 beforehand.  

 

From the description of the product it states: 

 

- 243 square kilometer city of Genova, 850 square kilometers outback of Genova (mountains and coasts). And, of course the presence of the international city airport Genova Cristoforo Colombo (LIMJ). 
 
- The city contains hand recolored ground textures (30, 60, 120 cm/pixels) and is filled of UHD landmarks (hundreds of models), the outback contains the hand recoloured ground textures (30 cm, 2m, 4m/pixel) and hand placed forests, for the buildings in outback, the scenery relies on X-Plane or third party autogen.
 
- In the city there are 3D modeled residential areas (16.000 buildings). They have generic facades and real roofs.
 
- The airport is very high detailed with all UHD buildings and architectural complexes. Further there are custom ground services (static). I've rebuilded the Terminal that now is updated to the next 2022 year (in  real life there are currently works on expansion of the Terminal). In the Terminal there is an autogate jetway (one of six) ( Autogate by Marginal required).
 
- In the Ancient Port (near the Galata Sea Museum), there is a submarine (Nazario Sauro S 518) ultra high detailed.
- Photographic night environment (ground textures for all the scenery and buildings textures) and night lighting effects (for example the "Lanterna" lighthouse).
- In the city there are thousands of objects like cranes, containers, ships, boats, parked trucks, parked trains.
- in the city there are also the flyover roads with interchanges (without traffic).
- Helipads in the airport and in the fair (Eastern of the city).
- High detailed APRON in airport area.
- Changing parked aircraft in airport.
- Moving ground services in the airport.
- In the airport the various buildings have the "interiors" (cinematographic set style): the windows are transparent. 
- Use of PBR materials for both the ground textures at the airport and the Terminal and skyscrapers.
- Static people in the airport area (especially in and out of the terminal).
- The airport is been tested with World Traffic 3.0 and ortho4xp. They functions correctly.
- Two good detailed railway stations.
- Custom water bump texture for rivers and sea.
- Realistic and accurate ILS offset of 2 degrees.
- LIMJ documentation by ENAV included plus a map of the parking at the airport.
- In the screenshots there is also the third party Polcevera Bridge model by Dario Rugo.
- High FPS and no stuttering, even without Vulkan.

 

The download is a meaty 6GB when unzipped 4.5GB zipped file, which when uncompressed give you 7 folder. The first 6 you install directly into the "Custom Scenery" folder as normal, the final folder called "rivers and sea water color - optional" gives you a number of different sea colours to choose from.

 

To update the sea with the new colour, you have to copy the desired file (watercolor.dds) in this folder and  overwrite the file "watercolor.dds" in the following directories:

..\X-Plane 11\Custom Scenery\BCSceneries - Genova COMPLETE B\Orthophoto

..\X-Plane 11\Custom Scenery\BCSceneries - Genova COMPLETE C\Orthophoto
 

You can pick from four choices

  • Blue
  • Green 
  • More blue
  • More green

 

There is also included a jpeg file showing the parking positions and an aerodrome pdf file showing airport data such as airport runway height, frequencies, ILS and procedures such as Noise Abatement.

 

After installing the folders and files, you need to edit the scenery.ini file so that it appears as follows:

 

I
1000 Version
SCENERY

 

SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/BCSceneries - Genova COMPLETE A/
SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/BCSceneries - Genova COMPLETE B/
SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/BCSceneries - Genova COMPLETE C/
SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/BCSceneries - Genova COMPLETE D optional/
SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/BCSceneries - Genova COMPLETE D2 optional/


Make sure put them in the required alphabetical order, then add at the bottom of the list of sceneries (above other meshes of that area) the following string:

SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/BCSceneries - Genova COMPLETE E/


P.S. So that the scenery is correctly loaded, it's necessary to activate "Runways follow the terrain contours" in X Plane 11 settings.
 

For reference, here is what the default airport looks like:

 

Dafault_scenery.jpg

 

After installation, you are presented with not only an airport, but a complete landscaped port and city area which is quite extensive, with custom buildings and autogen.

 

 

LIMJ image 2.jpg

 

The first impressions I get when the addon is that you are truly in Italy. Anyone familiar with Italian landscape or architecture will get the feeling they have been here before. The classic dwellings snuggled into the landscape evoke memories of Naples or Sorrento. 

You can see there was a lot of custom work added to give an authentic regional feel to the airport and surrounding areas which gives it a lived-in and working atmosphere of a busy vibrant commercial hub.  

 

a319 - 2020-11-20 17.13.25.jpga319 - 2020-11-20 17.14.47.jpg

a319 - 2020-11-20 17.14.28.png

 

Below is an idea of what to expect on the approach and departure from runway 28

 

a319 - 2020-11-20 17.16.23.jpg

 

The ground layer is very detailed, but a the definition is not what I would call very high. Good enough for takeoffs and landings and some sightseeing, but not so much if you wish to explore by land. I can understand why the developers choose this route as otherwise the sim would be a stutter-fest and unusable, but hopefully with Vulkan, they can reconsider an updated texture replacement set. 

 

The terminals themselves are good, but not exceptional, as you can see the transparent textures are a bit hit and miss, but the surrounding areas look good. From a 2020 perspective, I think this airport looks a bit dated with the current technology out there.

 

a319 - 2020-11-20 17.25.15.jpg

 

I also think the logos and gates text resolution could be improved.

 

A320 - 2020-11-24 14.30.16.jpg

 

Autogate is required for this scenery. This is not used so much now with the SAM Plugin being more prevalent nowadays and Autogate is still version 1.72 from two years ago - quite a large timeframe from a software point of view. 

Download here: https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/5038-autogate-plugin/ 

Please note that it only works for one gate (404)  You will be able to see the Autogate enabled jetways from the "Starts" section of the airport in the "Flight Configuration" menu. It took me a while to figure out why the gates were not working, it turns out I had spawned in the wrong area. Make sure you select your start flight position as per the example above. You should then get your animated gate as expected.

 

A320 - 2020-11-22 15.42.17.jpgA320 - 2020-11-22 15.41.35.jpg

 

The runway is the default X-Plane runway and while I prefer the realistic contoured runways, in this case this does lead to one or two issues. 

The most noticeable being the Runway Approach markings being reversed The Runway sign should read 28/10, not 10/28 and the RWY AHEAD is obscured by the entry markings. The other issue is the one of warehouse floating buildings. They are not really noticeable from normal use, but up close it's more obvious. 

 

B38M - 2020-12-04 12.42.51.jpgB38M_4k - 2020-11-25 16.46.38.jpg

 

There is plenty of detail available behind the scenes such as fire-engines and pleasure boats which give the airport a good overall feel, but again, the textures are quite low-res,but having said that, they do add character to the overall airport. 

 

B38M_4k - 2020-11-25 16.40.41.jpg

B38M_4k - 2020-11-25 16.42.54.jpgB38M_4k - 2020-11-25 16.41.09.jpg

a319 - 2020-11-20 17.26.43.jpg

 

The carparks and rear of the airport are nicely done but they seem a bit empty and devoid of passengers, but the vegetation and markings are nicely done and clear and crisp, unfortunately the tower needs a lot of work as you can see. I was hoping to see the distinctive airport logo unique to Italian airports, but it is sadly not very well defined here.

 

b738_4k - 2020-12-05 17.05.30.jpgB733 - 2020-12-11 18.51.25.jpg

b738_4k - 2020-12-05 17.05.18.jpg

 

The tower view is not where you expect, but actually set inside this rotating light. It's not something I make a habit of using, but it would be nice if it was correctly placed. 

 

B38M_4k - 2020-11-25 16.40.58.jpgB38M_4k - 2020-11-25 16.43.23.jpg

 

The surrounding area of the airport has plenty of pleasure cruise ships and there are no shortage of marine traffic in evidence although it can be a bit repetitive. The overall effect though is pleasing to the eye and shows that it's not just an airport you are getting but a city too. 

 

b738_4k - 2020-12-05 17.06.25.jpgB38M_4k - 2020-11-25 16.43.12.jpg

 

Speaking of which, there are some good details shown such as the famous Palasport di Genova opened in 1962, and also an ubiquitous IKEA, complete with promotional advertising. 

 

B38M_4k - 2020-11-25 16.48.57.jpgb738_4k - 2020-12-05 18.05.25.jpg

 

B38M_4k - 2020-11-25 16.53.11.jpg 

 

The city itself is well represented with landmarks, historical buildings, and even a castle overlooking the port. 

 

b738_4k - 2020-12-05 18.06.46.jpgb738_4k - 2020-12-05 18.05.53.jpg

B38M_4k - 2020-11-25 16.52.41.jpgB38M_4k - 2020-11-25 16.52.11.jpg

 

Which brings me to the next subject: Night lighting. 

This is where I think you'll agree that where the scenery excels itself. The night-lighting is nicely done, vibrant, and gives a good atmospheric feeling to the whole package. 

 

B38M_4k - 2020-11-25 16.51.10.jpgSSG_B748-F_11 - 2020-12-06 15.47.30.jpg

 

The lights are nicely placed and give a nice welcome into the port of Genoa, and the roads, urban area  and uplands are well done and I feel a lot of work has gone into this part of the scenery. It gives that extra wow factor on arrival or departure from Genoa. 

 

B38M_4k - 2020-11-25 16.54.26.jpgB38M_4k - 2020-11-25 16.54.14.jpg

 

I did a quick trip from LIMJ to LIRF to get some idea of the coastline and surrounding areas, and it really feels you are flying over a bustling metropolis.  In this area I feel a real advantage over the Aerosoft offering. 

 

b738 - 2020-11-21 16.27.24.jpgb738 - 2020-11-21 16.27.12.jpg

 

The colour contrast and lighting is very nicely done with overspill lights on the apron and jetways nicely done and subtle, nothing too harsh or dazzling to the eye. It blends in very well and gives an nice ambience to the overall area. 

 

B38M_4k - 2020-11-25 16.53.55.jpgb738 - 2020-11-21 16.19.54.jpg

 

While there are some issues with this scenery, at least it's still in active development and improvements are being made all the time and feedback is always taken on board, I think given time, this will turn out to be a very good scenery indeed. 

______________________________

 

Summary:

There are two payware vendors for this area, and actually it's quite a difficult decision give a verdict on this one. On the one hand, the amount of detail is very good and a large area outside the airport is included which gives it more realism , the resolution of the textures need a lot to be desired and in the age of 64bit simulators and high-end graphic cards, it's a bit underwhelming.

The Control tower definitely needs an upgrade, the resolution is quite poor considering it's the focal point of any airport scenery addon which is a real pity here.

On the other hand, there are great framerates - even with the A300 by iniSimulations I'm getting ~40 fps, and about 35fps with the A320 from FlightFactor, (which is a very heavy aircraft on frames in any case), so there should not be many complaints about the performance. 

Overall, the scenery is good, but there is a lot of potential here for improvement on the texture front. Hopefully the designers can make this into a winner. 

 

Make sure you use the latest patches given in the forum, the patches are cumulative, so make sure you use the latest available.

NB: A patch, version 4.1 is due in the coming months which will be free for existing 4.0 users. 

Upgrades from earlier versions are around $14

______________________________

 

Scenery Review by Jude Bradley

13th December 2020

Copyright©2020 : X-Plane Reviews

 

(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)

 

Review System Specifications:

Computer System: Windows  - Intel Core i9-9900K CPU 4.70GHz / 64bit - 32 Gb  DDR4 4300 RAM - EVGA GeForce GTX 2070 8Gb - Samsung Evo 1Tb SSD 

Software:   - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.51 

Addons: Saitek Throttle and Yoke : Sound -Soundblaster Audigy Fx

Plugins: : BetterPushBack - Free LiveTraffic - Free Weather ActiveSkyXP https://hifisimtech.com/asxp/

Scenery or Aircraft

- ToLiSS319 (A319) by ToLiSS (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$69.00

- A320 by Flightfactor https://store.x-plane.org/A320-Ultimate_p_688.html - $89.95

- B737-800 Zibo Mod https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/forums/topic/185685-zibo-install-guide-training-checklist/ (free)

 

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