Jump to content
Stephen

Scenery Review : Matterhorn Park 3D by Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini

Recommended Posts

Zermatt_Header.jpg

 

Scenery Review : Matterhorn Park 3D by Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini

 

Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini had a lot of kudos bestowed upon them for their excellent "Dolomiti 3D" Scenery that covered a very extensive area of the northeast of Italy. It came with a high price as well of €68.00 Euro's which is around US$84.00 that was just a little too much out of my pocket for a review.

 

Their second scenery choice is Zermatt or the breathtaking area around the Matterhorn or the Italian Cervino and thankfully it also comes at a far easier cost on the bank account at around €20 (about US$25). And first I will note that this is a niche scenery. For the helicopter pilot it is seventh heaven, there is a lot to see and a lot areas to fly to around within this scenery and all of it is spectacular. General Aviation pilots also get a look in, but you will need a GA of a bit of power as you need a lot of altitude, but what about service and route pilots? Well yes they can use this scenery as well, but only in a fly over context because it does do one thing and that one thing very well and that is it represents the iconic mountain in reference to the scenery... in other words, is that it looks good from the windows of an aircraft if you are flying over the alps of which I do constantly, and yes I always want to see the Matterhorn as I use it as a reference of my position (going to Milan anyone or Zurich the other way).

 

I personally also have a connection to the scenery. I have been to Zermatt, which is quite a feat from Australia. And unless you are a one percenter, Zermatt is not the easiest place to get to or get out of, but that is also one of its main attractions. In a way it is like a Swiss Disneyland with only walkways and electric carts to get around the village, but the consumerism has also caught up with the place which makes it now more a theme park than ever.

 

But there is something else about Zermatt that is unique. I have traveled to a lot of places within my life but nothing, I mean nothing came close to the spirituality of the area. Nothing can put your life in to perspective more than feeling overwhelmed by the minute of yourself and your life, compared to the shear scale of the mountain and the area... this is the world around you on another scale and a deep history of the area is significant in that you come away from Zermatt a very different person than when you went there... the world for all its crazyness is nothing to the scale of life that is laid out there in front of you by a mountain. A point I will enforce more in the review.

 

Valais, Switzerland - Aosta Valley, Italy

As with most major mountain ranges the Alps form a border between two countries, in this case of the position of the Matterhorn it is the canton of Valais, Switzerland and the Aosta Valley in Italy and with its near-symmetrical pyramidal peak in the extended Monte Rosa area of the Pennine Alps, the summit is 4,478 metres (14,692 ft) high, making it one of the highest summits in the Alps and Europe and straddles the border. The four steep faces, rising above the surrounding glaciers, face the four compass points and are split by the Hörnli, Furggen, Leone, and Zmutt ridges.

 

Alps.jpgMatterhorn Area.jpg

 

Zermatt is northeast of the Matterhorn in the Matter Valley while Breuil-Cervinia is directly south of the Matterhorn and the Theodul Pass, is the main passage between the two valleys on its north and south sides. Gornergrat is on Gorner Ridge; 3,135 m (10,285 ft)) overlooking the Gorner Glacier.

 

Matterhorn Park 3D

The best perspective of the size of this scenery is with the winter textures switched on with the Matterhorn in the centre separating the two valleys...

 

Zermatt_Overview.jpgZermatt_Overvie2.jpg

 

...  the odd thing is that there are no winter textures for this scenery? Only summer textures, but the developers have noted them as "coming later". But if you do a lot of over Alp flying and considering the longer winter seasons lately then it would require the area to be usable of which currently it isn't, so you have to remove the scenery or note the INI to use the Alps with the winter textures.

 

Zermatt_Overview 3.jpgZermatt_Overview 4.jpg

 

The scenery is better in the summer and certainly looks realistic, but if you do look closely the greener custom textures do note the sceneries placement within the X-Plane landscape.

 

Matterhorn

The central aspect of the the mountain itself is obviously the most important element in the scenery, and thankfully the Matterhorn is simply outstanding.

 

Zermatt_Matterhorn 2.jpgZermatt_Matterhorn 1.jpgZermatt_Matterhorn 3.jpgZermatt_Matterhorn 4.jpg

 

One of the developers fortes are doing extremely realistic mountains and uses here DEM (digital elevation model) at 5m/pixel and then further elaborated with many structural details and that makes the Matterhorn overwhelmingly a masterpiece in scenery craftmanship, it is so realistic and with X-Plane11 shadows and textures it is a very believable scenario even when you get very close to the mountain..

 

Zermatt

5,800 inhabitants live in Zermatt and it is classified as a town even if it looks like a pretty village. At most times of the year Zermatt is crowded well beyond its locals by a factor of three to four, this is a tourist town and a very busy one at that.

 

Zermatt_Village.jpgZermatt_Village 1.jpg

 

There are no photo-ortho underlay textures here, but I think that is to the advantage as trying to make orthos match up to the native textures would be a nightmare and one that would be more to a negative than more a positive idea. It also helps in with the framerate factor as well. Framerate is certainly not an issue here, because autogen is almost zero, but you do need your texture quality at total maximum to get decent views of the township and even then a lot of the buildings textures are still a little out of focus in quality, some are really good, but other textures are average.

 

The Catholic Parish church of St. Mauritius is the town's centrepiece and it has been beautifully recreated, the only thing missing are the chimes that rebound around the Matter Valley. In an odd perspective from this side of township as you can't actually see the Matterhorn as the west valley side hides it, that is until you stand outside the church, then the mountain is revealed in all its glory and combined with the bells it is quite a spiritual moment, if even a reverent ethereal point in your life and even then if you are not a devout Catholic either.

 

Zermatt_Village 2.jpgZermatt_Village 4.jpg

Zermatt_Village 7.jpgZermatt_Village 5.jpgZermatt_Village 6.jpgZermatt_Village 8.jpg

 

The Grand Hotel Zermatterhof is the most significant hotel in the town and it is next to the church with the Matterhorn Museum - Zermatlantis dome building outside. Missing though is the beautiful bronze marmot fountain in front of the museum which is great favorite to everyone especially children. There are however lovely fixtures here though with benches, chairs, umbrellas and flowerbeds all recreated for detail.

 

Zermatt_Village 9.jpgZermatt_Village 10.jpg

 

One significant area has been well created and that is the Friedhof or Zematt's Cemetery. There are some significant tombstones behind the church, but most are laid to rest in the Friedhof. The cemetery is significant because most climbers killed on the mountains around Zermatt and of course the most loss of life is on the Matterhorn itself and four were killed on the way down from on the very first ascent of the mountain.

 

Zermatt_Village 12.jpgZermatt_Village 11.jpg

 

Power of the Friedhof is that the names etched here are not just the ones whom had died over the centuries but I also saw many names that had fallen only months before my arrival, in other words the danger and unpredictability and the sheer power of that mountain is still as monumental as ever...  you need to give it respect and the mountain is a far bigger and more powerful thing than you and anyone else. There are two churches in Zermatt and second one up on side of the valley mid-town is the St Peter’s ‘The English Church’ were all the English climbers are buried (mostly Reverands?) but the ‘The English Church’ is not modeled here.

 

Most of the township is made up of hotels or Swiss style apartments for both tourists and locals, and they have been recreated to give the sense of the Swiss environs, and in most cases it works, but there are more brand shops in Zermatt now more than ever. One here that has not been reproduced is the area of your main entry into the Zermatt in the railway station. Yes there is concrete sort of station, but it is not like the one I remember as it was all very clean and very Swiss and it fronted on to a small piazza with the Swiss tourist centre and more of those Swiss branded shops...

 

Zermatt_Village 13.jpgZermatt_Village 14.jpg

 

But more significant was the Co-Op supermarket opposite the railway station which is the main commercial centre in the town called the "Viktoria Centre" and also more importantly missing is the Zermatt terminus for the Gornergrat cog-railway, you can see the tracks? but no terminus, and this is one of the major icons of the town. I can't see how you could miss that one?

 

There is a street called the Chrum in Zermatt and it has still the original climbers huts from the early days, It is a fascinating street to walk down as you see the progress from these basic huts to buildings and their ages are indicated by the size of the windows, as the bigger they are the newer the hut is...  and the large flat stones are there to keep the rats out, and here you certainly feel that original Alpine climbing history and the burly men with ropes hung around them as you walk between the these century old pioneering pieces of Zermatt history.

 

Zermatt_Chrum 1.jpgZermatt_Chrum 2.jpg

 

Zermatt is a Ski-Resort and the chair-lift system is very well represented. The main ski-house in Zermatt is at the southern point facing the Schwarzsee and this lift is the Zermatt - Furi that can go on to Schwarzsee and also on up to Trockener Steg...

 

Zermatt_Village 15.jpgZermatt_Village 16.jpg

Zermatt_Village 17.jpgZermatt_Village 18.jpg

 

...   most chair-lifts are laid out here and the system criss-cross's over the  mountains, however once you start to get close to a landing pad, then watch those cables, they are very hard to see and your tail-rotor can easily catch them, and the lifts are not animated which is shame, but there is too many really to be practically possible.

 

The most important area from an X-Plane point of view is of course the "Air Zermatt" helicopter terminal on the west side of the entrance to Zermatt...

 

Zermatt_Air Zermatt 3.jpgZermatt_Air Zermatt 2.jpg

Zermatt_Air Zermatt.jpgZermatt_Air Zermatt 4.jpg

 

This significant heliport has been very well reproduced with four H pads for your choosing, the deck is very authentic and the hangar termnial is well done with a animated Swiss flag blowing in the wind. It is tricky to land on though as you get crosswinds coming up the valley.

 

Zermatt_Air Zermatt 5 LG.jpg

 

Only service vehicles can enter Zermatt and even then they are restricted. You park up north still in the Matter Valley at Täsch which is basically a huge parking station and railway station called the Matterhorn Terminal Täsch and shuttle trains depart here every 20 minutes to take you into Zermatt.

 

Zermatt_Tasch 1.jpgZermatt_Tasch 2.jpg

Zermatt_Tasch 5.jpgZermatt_Tasch 3.jpg

 

Täsch is modeled very well and there is an grass strip here called "LIZER" for your GA use. But there isn't any grass strip In real Täsch as this is the Golf Course, so it is a virtual airfield created for the scenery.

 

Zermatt_Tasch 6.jpgZermatt_Tasch 4.jpg

 

But more oddly there is "real" airfield just out of the Matter Valley called Raron Airport (LSTA). It is a disused Military airfield, but still in use for GA flights and Air Zermatt have a base there?

 

Zermatt_Tasch 7.jpgZermatt_Tasch 8.jpg

 

Raron.jpg

(Jonas Goetz)

 

LSTA would certainly have made a very interesting airport to use, wouldn't it? and also a great addition to the scenery.

 

Gornergrat

If you follow the (cog) railway from Zermatt (hard at times because it is covered with trees) you will end up high on the Gorner Ridge at Gornergrat (3,090 m (10,140 ft)). The building was the Kölner Observatorium für SubMillimeter Astronomie KOSMA and before that (until 2005) the Gornergrat Infrared Telescope. But mainly it is a major tourist attraction...  and it overlooks the Gorner Glacier and of course one of the best iconic views of the Matterhorn....  spectacular is not the word, it is giddying overwhelmingly view and that is mostly because of the really thin air up here.

 

Zermatt_Gornergrat 1.jpgZermatt_Gornergrat 2.jpgZermatt_Gornergrat 3.jpgZermatt_Gornergrat 4.jpg

 

The main Observatory is done really well, but the iconic castle style rail-station is missing as is the large viewing platform next to it? and the railway line just stops mid-stones. The mesh doesn't match well here either with fine grade on one side and low-res textures on another, so it all feels and looks like a bit of an afterthought.

 

Zermatt_Breuil-Cervinia head.jpg

 

Breuil-Cervinia

Interestingly the Italian side of the Matterhorn has a better view of the mountain than Zermatt, but Breuil-Cervinia in the Aosta Valley is a far smaller ski resort and more a village than a township.

 

Zermatt_Breuil-Cervinia.jpgZermatt_Breuil-Cervinia 1.jpg

 

Zermatt_Breuil-Cervinia 2 LG.jpg

 

The Residence President Palace (Hotel) is the most distinct building in Cervinia. It is not badly modeled here but still basic with no external detailed forms but just a curved block, it works but could have been modeled more realistically. The red/white communications tower (watch out for those microwaves) is here as well. The Sainta Mary Queen of Aosta Valley church is well done and prominent in the village.

 

Zermatt_Breuil-Cervinia 2.jpgZermatt_Breuil-Cervinia 5.jpg

Zermatt_Breuil-Cervinia 6.jpgZermatt_Breuil-Cervinia 4.jpg

 

The wooden sculpture at the entrance to Cervinia is there, but it is only basic as the real one is more tree like.Cervinia is a tight set small streetscape village and not as open as denoted here, and like Zermatt not much in the way of consumerism is shown, but there are again nice park benches and flower beds and rubbish bins the Italians never use...

 

Again another Golf Course serves as a grass airport to the south of Cervinia and this one is called "LICER".

 

Zermatt_Breuil-Cervinia 7.jpgZermatt_Breuil-Cervinia 8.jpg

 

Flying around Cervinia is highly regulated but Heliski who are based in the village use a really nicely constructed landing pad high on the temporary

 

Zermatt_Breuil-Cervinia 9.jpgZermatt_Breuil-Cervinia 10.jpg

 

Helicopter Pads

There are altogether not counting the Zermatt, Täsch and Cervinia helicopter pads there are six other landing sites...

 

HEPLM is

 

Zermatt_HEPLM.jpgZermatt_HELOR.jpg

 

The absolutely amazing HELPR on Plateau-Rosa, and watch those blustery winds as they will easily flip the chopper,  and "oh" the look-out for those ski-lift cables as they are really dangerous here as well.

 

Zermatt_HELPR.jpgZermatt_HELPR 2.jpg

 

On the Swiss side you have LSST Stafelalp (below left) and LSSW Swarzsee (Below right).

 

Zermatt_LSST Stafelalp.jpgZermatt_LSSW Swarzsee.jpg

 

And the pad at Gornergrat LSEG...

 

Zermatt_Gornergrat 5.jpg

 

There is of course a multitude of small climber huts,

 

Lighting

Zermatt is a dark place at night with the darkest room I have ever slept in... so dark I couldn't see anything, nothing, ziltch...  scary, and I slept over by two hours in the total blackness until somebody woke me up...  like I said really scary.

 

Zermatt_Lighting 1.jpgZermatt_Lighting 2.jpg

 

But the lighting is actually very good, with nice realistic street lamps and well lit windows, the only bright area is the Tennis Courts center Zermatt. The Zermatterhof Hotel and Catholic Church are also well lit and look very realistic.

 

Zermatt_Lighting 3.jpgZermatt_Lighting 4.jpg

Zermatt_Lighting 5.jpgZermatt_Lighting 6.jpg

 

The warren of streets also looks great and so does the non-reflecting lighting at the Air Zermatt terminal, but only one landing pad is lit...  Cervinia is very similar, but with less highlights than Zermatt.

 

Zermatt_Lighting 7.jpgZermatt_Lighting 8.jpg

Zermatt_Lighting 9.jpgZermatt_Lighting 10.jpg

 

And distant lights twinkle here and there from the

 

Zermatt_Final.jpg

 

Summary

For the investment scenery has a job to do, and in fact it has several jobs to do. One is to reproduce the area or airport that is your destination and be active in the fact you get a realism effect of the place and the area. Another is to create a feeling of that place that you are reproducing and that is quite hard to do, but get it right and you can be transported to that same sensory overload and see the place as it is.

 

Overall X-Plane does a very good job of recreating most of the visual elements of the world, but to get real detail you need to focus on that area and recreate it in a more dynamic way. So mostly this will focus on large and small cities and towns, but also on certain aspects of iconic areas... No doubt the Alps and certainly the very imposing mountain in the Matterhorn deserves such quality treatment.

 

In one way this is just a very visual investment but when it is done this well then it is a worthy one. The Matterhorn is and always will be a visual point of reference if you are flying in this part of Europe, to have the the completeness that this scenery delivers is certainly a major plus point for your simulation flying. For the mountain itself and its visual aspects it is perfect and in that point this Matterhorn Park 3D is exceptional.

 

For the township of Zermatt and village of Cervinia they are very well done, but not walk around visually realistic well done. The central area of the Zermatterhof Hotel and Catholic Church and excellent Friedhof (cemetery) have had a lot of focus and that works extremely well, but other significant and visual VFR points of reference like the rail-piazza and very important Zermatt terminus for the Gornergrat cog-railway is a major oversight if wanting a VFR reference of the town...   the smaller English Church is missing as well.  The Air Zermatt terminal is very good, but with only one active pad to select from and the Gornergrat observatory feels like an afterthought. Which overall is a shame as a lot of work and thought has gone into this scenery and all the excellent points of helicopter destinations throught-out the scenery are all also nicely done.  Textures mostly are a little out of focus in quality, but overall convey the feel of Zermatt. No activity in animations are also noticeable, say with the little electric carts or rail shuttles.

 

The biggest surprise is the missing winter textures? This is a ski resort and with X-Plane now able to switch or MOD winter textures you are now flying in the winter as much of as the summer. But a bigger impact is that users who want the dynamic quality of the scenery from altitude can't use it with winter textures unless you have green patches down there, so this scenery has to be disabled or removed every time you want to fly over the Alps which defeats the purpose really.

 

Certainly Helicopter pilots will get far more out of this scenery than most simulation users, as this scenery is a playground like no other to use the machines to their absolute maximum capabilities. General Aviation users can also marvel at the scenery as well if you have the power and speed to get to a reasonable altitude... even as noted in flying over this scenery heading either to the north or south of Europe then the Matterhorn can fill in your visual reference to the maximum. And not just the mountain, also for smaller elements like the Plateau Rosa Ski station or the Gornergrat observatory as you wouldn't have even looked for them before, but you will next time you fly over the Alps, small details but it all adds in to the experience and realism of flying over a more detailed and dynamic scenery.

 

Overall though this extensive and great value Matterhorn Park 3D does really deliver on the feel and certainly the majesty of the Matterhorn and Zermatt. Look at the images in this review and they are as realistic as many in my photo library and from my point of view a very real reminder of a significant point in my life, once been to the Matterhorn you will never look at your life the same way again, as compared to the sheer scale and undeniable power of the mountain it puts a lot of life's niggles into a whole new perspective as that mountain has been here for a long time, and after you are gone, it will still be there a long time after as well.

 

______________________________________________________________________

 

X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg

 

Yes! the Matterhorn Park 3D by Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini is Available now from the X-Plane.Org Store here :


Matterhorn Park 3D

 

Price Is €20 (US$24.95)

 

Features

  • Zermatt and Cervinia regions completely rebuilt  using a method of positioning polygons-textures, appropriately designed for the characteristics of the territory.(Without the use of orthophotos).
  • The Township of Zermatt and village of Cervinia are built using more than one hundred types of 3D buildings typical of mountain areas.
  • Includes tqo small airfields (Cervinia and Tasch-Zermatt) for short flights with small aircraft.
  • Added 10 more Helipad for take-off / landing helicopters see ICAO codes.
  • IL Matterhorn was reconstructed on a DEM (digital elevation model) at 5m. and subsequently processed. Textures based on 4k (4096x4096) for greater realism.
  • summer only scenery
  • Manual included

 

 

 

 

Requirements

X-Plane 11 or X-Plane 10

Windows, Mac or Linux
2Gb VRAM (absolute minimum) - 4 or 8Gb+ VRAM Recommended
 
Installation
Download scenery file size is 645.00mb. With the full installation installed in your custom scenery folder
 
There are a lot of elements to installing this scenery. And more importantly it has to be installed in the correct order. The developers have provided with the scenery a INI list to directly insert into your X-Plane "scenery_packs.INI" so the loading order is correct...  install sizes are noted on each scenery
 
  • SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/3D_Cableway/ (5.51mb)
  • SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/3D_Cervinia/ (131mb)
  • SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/3D_Matterhorn/ (132mb)
  • SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/3D_Tash/ (26.6mb)
  • SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/3D_Zermatt/ (291mb)
  • SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/MC_Scenery/ (251mb)
  • SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/Mountain_lib/ (475mb)
  • SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/MeshCervino/ (122mb)

 

It is a bit messy in your custom scenery folder, but it is what it is....

 

______________________________________________________________________

 

Review by Stephen Dutton

15th March 2018

Copyright©2018 : 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 i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD 

Software:   - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.10

Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose  Soundlink Mini

Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9  effects US$19.95

Scenery or Aircraft

- MBB/Kawasaki BK-117 by NilsD  (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$29.95

 

Logo Header X-PlaneReviews 200px.jpg

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Stephen,

 

In their promo video (at about 0:23), I couldn't help but notice what appears to be a specular reflection of the sun on the rock surface, as if it were made of shiny plastic. Did you notice this in the sim, and if so was it distracting?

 

p.s. tried to attach an image (74k jpeg) but got the error "There was a problem processing the uploaded file. Please contact us for assistance."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No didn't see that, but there was a note on the developers site there was a few patches done? So they may have fixed it, and promo video makers usually get an early beta anyway.  A jpg should work? Just try it again?  Sd

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×