Since building the scenery for WMSA Kuala Lumpur Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah ("Subang") airport (http://goo.gl/PYgp5v), I've been spending my free time modelling the other airports on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. I've actually found it to be rather therapeutic activity, a great escape from real life for a while (the same can be said for Flight Sims in general).
Anyway, these are "lego-brick" sceneries which means they are built only from objects in the standard X-Plane library. That means that they can be distributed with the next X-Plane release (10.50?) and they also do not take up much space. However, they're only a close approximation of the actual airport -- you will need custom 3D models of each building to make it look exactly like in real-life. But it's better than being greeted by a grassy airstrip on arrival!
If you'd rather not wait for the next X-Plane release, you can download them from the x-plane contributed scenery gateway site at the links below. Just unzip the scenery files into your X-Plane's "Custom Scenery" folder and start up X-Plane.
WMKF - Simpang (http://gateway.x-plane.com/scenery/page/WMKF)
WMKI - Ipoh (http://gateway.x-plane.com/scenery/page/WMKI)
WMKP - Penang Intl(http://gateway.x-plane.com/scenery/page/WMKP)
WMKB - Butterworth (http://gateway.x-plane.com/scenery/page/WMKB)
WMKA - Alor Setar Sultan Abdul Halim (http://gateway.x-plane.com/scenery/page/WMKA)
WMKL - Langkawi Intl (http://gateway.x-plane.com/scenery/page/WMKL)
WMKM - Malacca (http://gateway.x-plane.com/scenery/page/WMKM). (I had to build an island as somehow there was a lake on the underlying terrain where there wasn't suppose to be!)
WMPA - Pangkor STOLport (http://gateway.x-plane.com/scenery/page/WMPA)
WMPR - Redang STOLport (http://gateway.x-plane.com/scenery/page/WMPR)
I hope to be done with Peninsular Malaysia by year's end.
Here are some tips I've learnt after doing these sceneries using X-Plane's World Editor (WED), mostly picked up after doing the above sceneries.
- Don't take any info you find as the absolute truth. While the picture in a satellite image can't lie, their coordinate positions can be wrong by a certain offset, depending on the source and area. When starting on a new airport, I'll key in the runway threshold positions from the Aerodrome Information Publication (AIP) into runway object in WED, and see how the satellite imagery aligns with it. If it's off by a little bit, I've decided it's better to align the satellite image to match the AIP runway coordinates rather than the other way around. There are less chance of having issues with NAVAIDs not aligning up properly this way (Having said that, don't trust the AIP 100% either 😃).
- If you can go on site to "calibrate" the satellite imagery with your own GPS coordinates, do so (assuming you have a reliable GPS device). I plan to do this for WMSA (Subang) (version 2) and possibly WMSA (KLIA) whenever I'm in the area. It doesn't have to be anywhere specific, just somewhere obviously visible in the satellite imagery, e.g. the corner of a road or building. Measure a few locations if possible. Then create dummy objects in WED and key in the GPS coordinates you got for each location, and see how well the satellite imagery aligns with it -- and slide the satellite image around until you get a good "compromise".
- A lot of objects within the airport, such as buildings and taxiways, are aligned with the runway direction. Early on, draw two long lines, one aligned with the runway, and the other perpendicular to it. Now when you need to draw a rectangular building, drag the lines (by the center, not the points, so the entire line moves without changing alignment) to where the building should be and use it as a "ruler" to mark the four corners of the buildings, duplicating (Control-Shift-D) as many rulers as you need. You can also use this "ruler" to align the sides of two different buildings easily.
- Sometimes you need to draw things at regular spacing intervals ... taxiway markings towards parking stands for example. There's no snap-to-grid feature in WED, but you can identify regular points by drawing a line, and selecting both ends (using the "control" key) and then using the Split (Control-E) function to create a point exactly in between the two points. If you press Control-E multiple times, you'll get further divisions of the power of two (2, 4, 8, 16, 32 ...). By playing with the original length of the line, you can get a decent set of equidistant points that you can snap new lines to. When you're done, delete the original line, and any unused points will be gone.