• Review: Orbx Caernarfon Airport for X-Plane 11

    Review: Orbx Caernarfon Airport for X-Plane 11

    By Paul Mort

    Orbx - Caernarfon Airport

    Hello and welcome to a review of Caernarfon Airport for X-Plane 11 by Orbx.

    During the testing of this scenery, all aspects of the airport and surrounding area were scrutinised for texture quality, building placement accuracy, value for money and overall comparison to the airport's real life location. Having had the pleasure of visiting the airport some years ago during a visit to Wales, it made reviewing Caernarfon Airport a lot more enjoyable, as you will see in this review.

    Orbx - Caernarfon Airport     Orbx - Caernarfon Airport

    Location

    Serving as the base for the Welsh Search and Rescue and Air Ambulance, Caernarfon Airport also has a couple of flying schools in operation. It is situated in the heart of Snowdonia close to the Island of Anglesey and the Menai Straight. The surrounding areas of Caernarfon Airport offer stunning views which, in the X-Plane world, are greatly enhanced by the use of Orbx True Earth Central. This is an additional payware product used as a base layer for the airport, but one I feel is a must have purchase.

    The airport originally opened in 1941 as RAF Llandwrog. The base was mainly used in the training of gunners, radio operators and navigators and later was the home for the RAF Mountain Rescue. During the 2000s, the airport underwent significant re-development and expansion. Situated on the site is a large cafe, a maintenance and storage hangar, plus a visitor centre and shop, which are part of the airport's Aviation Museum. Orbx are universally credited as being one of the great scenery makers of our time, so as per usual I performed a virtual walk around of the scenery to check out all the details and see how it compared to the real airport I visited.

    Orbx - Caernarfon Airport     Orbx - Caernarfon Airport

    Walk Around

    Standing with my back to the Irish Sea, I could tell that the airport was a mix of both old and modern buildings. This is true of the real airport and reflects the changes made during the last few decades.

    Not content with simply plastering the area with flat ortho scenery, Orbx have very carefully placed 3D objects over their respective areas. One good example of this is the beautiful Welsh stone cottage just off the approach road. This simply oozes Welsh character, and fits the scenery perfectly. The vegetation was just how I remembered it; sparse with a few bushes but no trees present.

    Orbx - Caernarfon Airport     Orbx - Caernarfon Airport

    Another nice touch, and one that could have so easily been ignored or missed, was that the signs for the airport were in both Welsh and English. Situated around the airport, were a handful of static aircraft, and these were of good texture quality and modelling (for static models), and appropriate for the scenery.

    On the way in to the car park you'll see the small aviation museum recreated just as I remember it. Inside you'll find a gift shop and an extensive display of aircraft and helicopters in various stages of renovation. If you ever have the opportunity to visit the museum in real life, there's also a lot of historical details regarding the exhibits on show which are truly fascinating.

    Orbx - Caernarfon Airport     Orbx - Caernarfon Airport

    A good example of some of the texturing detail was the main airport tower. The feeling of corrugated tin and weathering was nicely recreated, as was the inclusion of both Welsh and English languages. As expected from Orbx, the quality of the vehicles in the public car park could not be faulted. It's always nice to see static 3D models, rather than simply an ortho representation of a car park.

    The cafeteria building at the airport also impressed me greatly. Not due just to its accuracy, but because it also gave the impression of depth inside (clever texturing work).

    Lastly, large parts of the concrete around the airport were slightly weathered and faded. This conveyed a great feeling of the area being used and also weathered by time. Getting this right is no easy feat, and is something I would like to see more of in regards to X-Plane sceneries.

    Orbx - Caernarfon Airport     Orbx - Caernarfon Airport


    2 Comments
    1. DominicS's Avatar
      DominicS -
      Great review Paul...definitely one to visit!

      Cheers

      Dom
    1. Rescue 936's Avatar
      Rescue 936 -
      A real world tower assistant from the airport here, fantastic and accurate review, and I too can say that it is incredible how accurate the scenery is!
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