View Full Version : Aleutians Scenery

October 20th, 2010, 22:21
Hi All. I'm toying with doing something (eventually) with an Aleutians campaign......actually there are a few of us in the same boat at the moment. CFS2 doesn't seem to have much in the way of good scenery for that part of the world.

I downloaded and installed some SRTM mesh for it but it doesn't seem to work all that well. It leaves quite a few hills and valleys in the water. After taking it out, the hills and valleys are still there, so not being a knowledgeable scenery guy, I don't know where to look for some improvement.

I also installed some old runways that someone was good enough to give me, but they're pretty rudimentary and definitely not up to today's standards, yet at least we have those.

Question; does anybody know where there may be some improved scenery (including airbases and infrastructure) for this area that's CFS2 compatible?


October 21st, 2010, 06:12
The hills and valleys in the water are most probably there because there's supposed to be land there... not water.

The land-water masking of the default CFS2 is pretty rough. Unfortunately, we don't have a lot of tools to fix it. There is no set of accurate waterbody data, so it usually needs to be hand drawn. For an island chain, that could take quite a while.

I'll look around and see if there is an FS2004 set of waterbody available, as it might be convertible ( but that would need to be freeware, else I don't think we could use it ).


October 21st, 2010, 07:07
Thanks Dick.....Hopefully there's something out there.

October 21st, 2010, 07:47
Bad news. There doesn't seem to be any LWM BGLs out there for the Aleutians. I can try and make a set over the next few days... but they'll have no roads or shorelines. Shorelines probably aren't such a big deal, as there would be few sandy shores in the Aleutians.


October 21st, 2010, 12:18
there was the odd sandy beach dotted around the odd island. There aren't even that many pictures available that I've found, Dick.

Go ahead Sir, give it your usual best shot and thank you very much!:jump:

October 29th, 2010, 07:57
This scenery should be close to what you'd need with SRTM mesh:


You could also use my CFS2 watermasks... but some users have not liked them. The zip file above is more detailed than the watermask set (and includes some landclass files to get rid of waterwalls).

CFS2 watermasks:


October 30th, 2010, 04:45
I'll install this and the SRTM again, And see what happens. As for the watermasks, Dick.....I don't know much about them or which to install or how. I've only every used the Pactex textures in my PTO installs, nothing else, and nothing extra for the ETO or MTO. It's not because I don't like it, it's mainly because of the complexity of installing all these things. Also, I'm running a dual core Intel 1600, Nvidia Geforce 8600 with 500 megs vid ram, 2gigs RAM and still my computer gets bogged down flying missions with all the scenery extras added, as nice as things look......mind you, a lot of memory is used with GSL objects, which I try to keep to a minimum if I can.

My understanding of the virtual CFS2 world is rudimentary at best. The trend with CFS2 these days seems to be awesome scenery, but, in the interests of keeping the game operable on my system, I have to rationalize this somehow so ask myself just how much of it do we 'watch' when we're flyin' for our virtual lives? In the interests of the KISS principal, I've decided to keep things on a fairly simple level, scenery wise. The CFS2 base scenery does leave something to be desired, however.

Having said this, I have to say that your reputation for excellent stuff certainly precedes you, and I was very very happy to hear from you on this Aleutians scenery.

I'll give this a serious effort and let you know the results in a few days. Thank you so much for your efforts with this.......and for taking an interest.

Best, Gord:salute:

November 1st, 2010, 02:27
Hi Dick. I installed your files, but things went from bad to worse, I've included a zip file here of the scenery that I had sent to me by another member. It has to be used, otherwise the runways don't show up and there's nothing there. I tried putting the Aleutians East and West above it and ended up with a lot of flat shorelines and small flats sticking out of the water. I didn't reinstall the SRTM before I put your files in......should I have done that?

I find this all somewhat confusing as my tired ol' brain just doesn't wanna grasp this scenery stuff readily. Perhaps I need to go with SRTM, then yours, then this scenery pack? it's my understanding that the SRTM has be down in the list. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Gord

November 1st, 2010, 06:59
Hi Gord.

Bad news indeed.

If you use Google earth to check the position of some of these airfields, they are not placed right or match the general size of the runways.

In fact, if you want airfields for this area, they would need to be built from scratch, as what is in this package doesn't resemble reality very well. ( and why do they use an installer... and why do they want to install to the scenerydb folder??? ).

These files are from 2002 and we've learned a bit since then.

The mesh and watermasking I made is a usable representation of the terrain of the entire peninsula and island chain. It's a good start for anyone wanting to make some usable airfields for you.

If I can steal some time, I can make some basic airfields that correspond to the files you attached.


November 1st, 2010, 09:00

Dick is correct - the airfield entries from the old Aeutians terrain are misplaced, so it's better to build from scratch.:salute:

I downloaded the zip & took a look around - the terrain is fine so long as you're using Dick's mesh. You need to lose the old mesh, & unload the old scenery completely.
The water on the new stuff still tends to occasionally come up onto the land at the edge, so I think the watermasking is a little too severe, but no so bad it ruins the effect.

I have Xavier's Japanese airfields installed, & this has a rendition of Kiska, so I can still find a field to fly out of. I think the flatten & layout is a little overly large, so that field will probably need redoing as well.

Which bgls are the watermasks?

Bit busy on my mega scenery of Sumatra at the moment, but I'm willing to pitch in if you need a little help on this. (actually could probably do with a "change of scenery" LOL)...

I've built a couple of simple airfields in FSSC

November 1st, 2010, 14:17
Thanks a lot you guys! Any and all help with this is greatly appreciated.

There are 2 or 3 of us with some campaign ideas for this area, though we've not really talked about this yet. We need to get together on that aspect of this wee venture, though I can say, it will be a go...somewhere in the not-too-distant future. By that I mean there's lots of time at this point and no hurry. Please proceed with this at your own pace. Of course, it was only a matter of time before somebody went at this from the Allied side.......hopefully we can do it justice.

The horse pulls the cart, so to speak. Wars and battles are always fought on, under, or above existing terrain, so that's why my initial query here. If there's decent scenery, there'll be a campaign there as well. As in real life, this area has been neglected, but I think it's time to do this thing.

According to 'The Thousand Mile War' runways were matt surfaced and quite rudimentary, some just gravel. There were Mitchells and B24's, PBY's, various fighter types using these runways with varying degrees of 'success'. There were a seaplane base or two as well. This is all very exciting for me at this stage as this will be my first foray into mission or campaign building and I've looked forward to it for some time......just needed something to fire my imagination a wee bit.

Now.....UT, I need to take out the existing Aleutians stuff, then put in Dick's mesh and watermasks.....then XB's Japan airfields?.....in that order?.....or....?

God willin' and if the creek don't rise, the best I can promise you guys for your work is top billing in the credits section of any readme files that are published here. This has to be a joint venture for sure.

I'll let you know how I make out with the scenery, Dick, UT and get back to you. I'll also keep you guys posted as to any other develpments as they happen.

Thanks again!


November 1st, 2010, 16:00

Yes youhave the sequence basically correct.

I know you don't need any encouragement to perservere, but thought a couple of screenies would help you in visualizing how things should look if you did it right ...

Rhumbas mesh & Aleutians files
Xavier's Jap airbases (just so you have Kiska to fly out of)
Dvslats CFS2 enhanced textures, with some of my own FSX style tweaks for the mountain areas & barren textures ...

November 1st, 2010, 16:01
..continued ...

snowcaps towards the eastern end of the chain ...

November 2nd, 2010, 08:14
I'll get that stuff in today for sure......that's inspiration, boy!......nice screenies! I'll be skyping with one of the boys later today to see if we can map out some kind of basic strategy for a mission set or campaign......looks like a go from here.

Thanks UT


January 2nd, 2011, 12:57
Hi again guys,

Posting in the hopes that someone has already been through this issue with EZ Landclass.

Finished doing a rework of landclass for the eastern Aleutians, & moved to those areas of the island chain with a western longitude.

If I choose the "get from MSFS" when creating a file, I get buffer overrun errors if I choose "Fly to here" whilst running both EZ Landclass & CFS 2 together. I'm assuming FSConnect doesn't like longitudes > 180 degrees.

I can work around this, by creating the file using negative notation for longitude, but this results in a bgl that refuses to show up in CFS 2. What (obvious step) am I missing here?

January 2nd, 2011, 20:28
The fs2000 resample has a bug that can mess up the bgl display because the header bounds are wrong. This is true for mesh and landclass. It is the longitude bounds.

What I do is copy the header bounds from an FS2004 resampled LC and paste them into the FS2000 resampled BGL with a hex editor. That fixes the problem.

There used to be a bounds correction utility years ago, but I don't know if I have it anywhere.


January 3rd, 2011, 04:34
Dick, thanks for the speedy response.:wavey:

I will try getting used to using a hex editor first.

I only possess CFS 2 & don't have FS2004, so where can I get hold of an example of "header bounds from an FS2004 resampled LC"?:redf:

January 13th, 2011, 14:25
Looked at some landclass bgls in Frhed & I wouldn't even know where to start, so I guess that's that for now.

Does the resample bug affect all types of scenery bgl work you try to do in the western hemisphere?

January 13th, 2011, 14:37
Quick update on where this project is at:

I have a more detailed landclass & small waterclass tweaks for the western Aleutians finished
I stopped work on eastern aleutians land & waterclass (using ezlandclass) due to resample bug.
I keep playing with smallish G2K project work (but G2K takes such a long time to do anything well)

Maskrider style backdrops for:

Kiska (new landing strip, less developed than Xavier's)
Adak AAF
Adak NAS
Annette Island
Fort Glenn
Fort Randall/ Cold Bay
Ladd Field
Sand Point

Basic backgrounds, runways etc., no gsl objects yet

Just starting on the seaplane runways, once they're complete I'll revisit the locations & put in some BASIC gsl objects.

Due to real life issues all other parties that were working on different scenery & campaign elements have dropped out - I will try to continue to get a basic scenery pack together to upload but it may take some time ... campaigns & missions are another thing entirely, I'm really just a humble repainter ...

January 13th, 2011, 16:06
Here's a picture to show the problem with resample in CFS2 ( and all other MS sims ):


Here's a file that has both resample apps, and a hex editor to change the bad headings:

HeaderError.zip (http://www.timacheson.com/SkyDrive/DirectLinkRedirect?pageUrl=http://cid-f3950c5bbd2bcfa1.office.live.com/self.aspx/FS%20Addons/CFS2/HeaderError.zip)

Sorry I missed your earlier post and left you hanging. :(

Landclass, waterclass and photoreal are all affected by the FS2000 resample bug.

( Yes, we can have photoreal in CFS2, with LWM watermasking defining the water! )


January 14th, 2011, 01:53

A thousand thanks! Currently at work, but I'll give it a whirl over the weekend.:ernae::medals:

Here's a picture to show the problem with resample in CFS2 ( and all other MS sims ):


Here's a file that has both resample apps, and a hex editor to change the bad headings:

HeaderError.zip (http://www.timacheson.com/SkyDrive/DirectLinkRedirect?pageUrl=http://cid-f3950c5bbd2bcfa1.office.live.com/self.aspx/FS%20Addons/CFS2/HeaderError.zip)

Sorry I missed your earlier post and left you hanging. :(

Landclass, waterclass and photoreal are all affected by the FS2000 resample bug.

( Yes, we can have photoreal in CFS2, with LWM watermasking defining the water! )


January 20th, 2011, 08:14
UT.......just awesome what you're doing. I for one am very grateful for your efforts......Thank you! I'm feeling better these days and think I will slowly work my way back into the fray. Please......keep up the good work!


January 21st, 2011, 05:31
for those of you interested in progress, I have created an album of screenshots ...


... no particular order, just as & when I work on something.

The hex edit solution to western longitude landclass work seems to be working fine. Once I've got a couple more areas under my belt I'll post a separate thread detailing how you can use EZ Landclass to work up the bgl, then use Rhumbas hex edit fix to correct the FS2000 resample header bug, as there are some tricks to making sure things go through issue free.:wavey:

January 21st, 2011, 05:53
Prior to Rhumba and UT jumping into this area, there was very little attention paid to the Alaskan Theatre of Operations.......this work of you guys is a huge step towards an up-to-date, ready-to-go scenery base for future campaign development.

Thank you both! Nice SS's, UT.


January 21st, 2011, 14:29
If I ever find some time, I might make a small program to read/edit the header bounds, so we don't need a hex editor. It would just make things a bit quicker.


Jean Bomber
January 21st, 2011, 14:50
Nice UncleTgt ,we will have something to look outside the cockpit and some suitable airfields to land on this areas.
Thanks Dick for the help :ernae:


January 21st, 2011, 17:02
Hi UncleTgt And rhumbaflappy,
After looking through the photo album, all I can say is WoW!

You two took a pretty bleak section of the sim and filled it in beautifully! Nice job guys.