The Flare Path Summer Exhibition 2014

By Tim Stone on June 27th, 2014 at 1:00 pm.

…is now open! I’d like to thank everyone who contributed images and recommendations. The Hanging Committee’s job was an absurdly difficult one. Beyond those burly security guards is a selection of exceptionally fine simulator screenshots (Wargames will have to wait their turn). Grab a complimentary flute of fizz and an Avro Vulcan shaped vol-au-vent and go gawp at the enlargeable masterpieces.

Bryan Ott’s amazing Arma and FSX images deserve a gallery wing all to themselves. ‘Hot LZ’ was a particular favourite of the Committee, its superb composition and sculptural poses reminding Tim, Roman, and Emma of dramatic bronze and stone war memorial statuary.

When Dead End Thrills’ Duncan Harris dabs the shutter release on his virtual Hasselblad the results are invariably exquisite. This firmament-free FSX tour-de-force is titled ‘Inland’ and marries Tile Proxy terrain textures and FS Global mesh with Dino Cattaneos’ delectable freeware T-45C Goshawk.

The Committee recommends you don’t think too hard about what that tracer-laced stream of 30mm DU shells is doing to the poor blighters down there. Focus instead on the way the Warthog is haloed by a cloud of its own Gatling smoke; note the manner in which the sinking sun honey-washes walls in the distant village. This is another breathtaking Bryan Ott Arma 3 canvas.

T50 specialises in winsome X-Plane watercolours. The airy juxtaposition of Mi-2, runway sign, and Van Goghian sunflowers in the above example, surprised and uplifted the Hanging Committee in equal measure.

Train Simulator’s inky shadows mean in-sim images are rarely this handsome. Incorporating his own loco skins, Stone75′s unapologetically prosaic portrait of a pair of careworn Yorkshire Gargoyles captures the mood of ‘Rail Blue’-era BR perfectly. Lean closer if you can’t smell diesel fumes, sleeper creosote, and early-Eighties industrial decline.

When Manlezl isn’t busy curating his own art space, he’s out, or rather in, immortalising remarkable scenes like these. In the first image, a Tupelov Tu-154 – the Eastern Bloc’s answer to the Boeing 727 – thunders toward a rubber-streaked FS9 threshold. In the second, an FSX Pan Am 747 and an Iberia A340 find themselves sharing the same pillar of mid-Atlantic sky.

Hope is a colour. Heat is a vise. Help is hundreds of miles away… With economy and style Drakenof a3g deftly pencil-sketches the first – or maybe the last – chapter in an intriguing Arma drama.

Proof that sometimes an exquisitely modelled aerodyne set against a stunning cloudscape is enough. Deacon211′s FSX P-51B “climbing out over southern England on his way to stir up some trouble around Normandy” was built by the pony whisperers at Warbirdsim.

Wing ribs echo fuselage stripes echo bullet trails in Marwitz’s marvellous Albatross vs. HP 0/400 Rise of Flight shot. Embiggen to properly admire the wrinkled canvas on the top plane of the doomed bomber.

James767-300′s ‘Welcome’ made Tim smile, Emma think of Jonah and the Whale, and Roman use the phrase ‘womb view’ several times. In short the committee loved its atmosphere, unconventionality, and playful abstraction.

AeroflyFS was born bonny but devoid of dusks and dawns. Modders eventually corrected the deficiency allowing talented Print Screen-prodders such as ShrewsburyFC to create delights like this achingly beautiful Pitts Special study.

Several gorgeous Assetto Corsa and rFactor 2 images came before the Committee. Ultimately though, it was the Project CARS pics that ended up stealing hearts and haunting daydreams. Pics like this rain-bejewelled gem from T0MMY3688.

…and this electrifying lightning-lit glimpse of a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X from Sethos88.

Two curves, one candy-striped and concrete, the other smoke-scribed and uncertain, section this Project CARS speed celebration – another from Sethos88. To see more of Sethos88′s work, investigate this thread at SimHQ.

Bound together by fate and a tangle of Belgian waterways WWI sky knights duel amongst copses of cloud. Did the S.E.5a end up slaying the Pfalz, or did the Pfalz slip away or somehow turn the tables? The only one who knows for sure is artful screen-grabber AndyJWest.

Roman wanted to describe TarJak’s ‘Heavy Weather’ as “sublime” or “swell” in the exhibition catalogue, but, using rolled-up magazines and bulldog clips, the other Committee members managed to persuade him to go with “haunting” instead.

Taking attractive IL-2 Sturmovik : Battle of Stalingrad screenshots is easier than shooting tinned sardines in a barrel with a PPSh-41. Capturing jawdropping tableaux like the one above, however, requires application and an artist’s eye. The artist with the eye on this occasion is SimHQ frequenter Para_Bellum.

Looming and fog-softened, Murmur’s X-Plane Jumbo is aviation megafauna through and through. After posing for this pic the big Boeing probably ambled over to a giant redwood and had a good scratch, or trundled unsuspectingly into one of Paris Charles de Gaulle’s numerous unmapped tar pits.

“Nelson hears them first. He props his front paws on the gate and howls at the empty southern sky. The racket brings Mum to the back-door, colander in hand. By the time Dad appears, bearded with shaving foam, there’s Heinkels all the way from High Heath to Telegraph Hill.”

‘Here they come again’ by TarJak.

 

The Flare Path Foxer

Furry Lipped Squid was in his element last week, that element being brine. After fondling collage components identified by Shiloh, Matchstick, Surlywombat and richtysoe, the inky octoped realised the following png hid the wreck of RMS Titanic.

a. Supermarine Southampton
b. Albion House, the White Star Line’s Liverpool HQ
c. Hillman Imp Californian
d. Airspeed Fleet Shadower
e. First edition of J.G. Ballard‘s The Drowned World
f. Short Belfast
g. Emblem of the 3rd Carpathian Rifle Division
h. PRR 4800 ‘Old Rivets
i. Sentinel R1/ASTOR

The previous week’s theme proved harder to pin down but eventually AbyssUK guncottoned on to the fact that the nitrocellulose spotted on June 13 by skink74, probably indicated a Lusitania link.

a. Class 40 locomotive (one of which was named ‘Lusitania’)
b. GUI elements from WWI sub sim 1914 Shells of Fury
c. A ‘Baghdad Fury’
d. The Flying Fish (a tug involved in rescuing survivors)
e & f. Pier 54
g. Churchill tank interior
h. Nitrocellulose
i. Turner watercolour
j. Gago Coutinho, the pioneering Portuguese pilot of a later ‘Lusitania’
k. Unimog U20

*******

Roman toyed with the idea of building this week’s foxer around the RMS Titania, a sister ship of both the Titanic and the Lusitania. The Titania was lost on October 10, 1916. When I say ‘lost’ I don’t mean she was wrecked or sunk by a U-boat. The Admiralty painted her with an experimental form of dazzle camouflage, and the paint job was so bally effective no-one saw hide nor hair of her ever again.

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49 Comments »

  1. Tim Stone says:

    Tack your Foxer theories to this comment, please.

    • Shiloh says:

      That helmet looks like the iconic M1 US infantry lid.

      • Premium User Badge Matchstick says:

        My guess is that this weeks theme is Flare Path Foxer regulars due to there being a number of Matchsticks scattered over the picture :)

        Egotistical much ? :)

    • All is Well says:

      Top-left image is a gunner in a ball turret, on some American bomber.

      • Gusdownnup says:

        In particular, a Sperry ball turret as on a B-17 Flying Fortress. (Also used on B-24 Liberators, apparently.)

      • All is Well says:

        The missile in the corner is a Javelin missile, cut off at the middle.

    • iainl says:

      That top-down racer on the left-middle looks like some variant of the original Sprint (of which Super Sprint was the sequel). Came in Sprint One, Sprint 2, Sprint 4 and even Sprint 8 variants, depending on how many players the hardware model supported.

    • Gusdownnup says:

      The upper-right greenery is the Horseshoe curve near Altoona, Pennsylvania.

    • Premium User Badge Joshua says:

      It is perhaps of significance that some of the matches have been lit, whilst the top two have not.

    • Premium User Badge Matchstick says:

      Plane bottom left I believe is a Globe Air (Swiss) Handley Page Herald

      • Rorschach617 says:

        Wikipedia calls the aircraft the Handley Page Dart Herald

    • Shiloh says:

      That segmental type die punch looks like the sort of thing they used to punch dog tags with.

    • Gusdownnup says:

      The black-and-white image on the left is a screen from the ’70s arcade game “Gran Trak 10″.

    • All is Well says:

      The theme couldn’t be football, could it? We have a ball and a globe, matches, and an infantry helmet (infantry being forces fighting on foot).

      Edit: Probably not though, Gran Trak and Breadbasket don’t exactly fit with that.

      • Shiloh says:

        All types of ball maybe (curve, track, punch, match, foot)? Bit weak I admit.

        EDIT: basket ball… dunno about Javelin though.

        • All is Well says:

          Might be something to do with the olympics? Javelin throwing is an olympic sport, so is basketball and football, track and field, matches are held and so on? Also, Handley Page Herald contains Hand, and handball is another olympic sport. Horseshoes is a sport, but it isn’t olympic. Could it just be “sports”?

        • Rorschach617 says:

          How about throwing, as in:

          Throw the die
          Throw the ball (Turret)
          Throw a match
          Throw a Javelin
          Throw a Molotov
          Throw a track (Gran Trak)
          Throw a horseshoe.

          The Handley Page aircraft is called a Dart Herald in Wikipedia.
          Throwing darts?

          • All is Well says:

            This is elegant, and it could also work for the M1 helmet – helmets are a type of hat, after all, and you can throw your hat (in the ring).

            Edit: you can also throw a punch, so there’s a double connection to the die punch.

          • Shiloh says:

            You can be thrown a curve as well.

          • Rorschach617 says:

            The more I think about it, the less I like “Throwing” as an answer, since it seems a little uncomplicated after the last two foxers…

            But I cannot think of anything that covers all the bases.

            Good thinking about the punches, helmet and curve btw. I did not think of that. I was trawling the nets looking for nicknames for the M1 in case anything sounded good. :)

          • Shiloh says:

            Ironically, you can be “thrown off track” – I’d be massively chuffed if it had nothing to do with throwing but Tim had included “track” to alert to us to the fact that we might indeed be “thrown off” it.

          • All is Well says:

            @Shiloh
            Haha, I was just thinking that if “throwing” is wrong, Mr. Stone would certainly not miss the opportunity to remark that we were “thrown off track” in next week’s Flare Path.

          • Shiloh says:

            Hang about though. “M1″ can be a helmet or it can be ball ammunition. “Dartball” is a game. Apparently there is such a thing as a “javelin ball”. Who knew?

            So I’m going to roll with it (ahem) and say the connection is they all have the word “ball” associated with them:

            Ball turret
            Curve ball
            M1 ball ammo
            Javelin ball
            Match ball
            Punch ball
            Dartball
            Basketball
            Trackball

            I guess we’ll find out next week!

            EDIT: Thinking about it, it would be like Tim to set a Foxer about “balls”, given the world’s biggest foot-to-ball competition currently taking place, without referencing a football anywhere in the Foxer itself.

          • FurryLippedSquid says:

            And Wimbledon of course.

            I’m not sure I think the theory is viable, The Foxer has never been about a generic item, but I’ve racked my brain and have nothing better!

          • Shiloh says:

            Agreed, and I’d dearly love all the clues to be linked to Operation Wintergewitter or the battle of Spion Kop… but maybe it just is what it is, a Foxer about balls.

    • Rorschach617 says:

      Photo in centre is a Molotov “BreadBasket” of Winter War infamy.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molotov_bread_basket

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      Looking at those missiles I can only come to one conclusion… http://www.reactiongifs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/thats-a-penis.gif

    • dufus0057 says:

      well I feel like guessing them all in order this time don’t take giant French world cup sized bites out of me for it or even Wimbledon sized, but the French are damned nasty when it comes to sport, and that is as close to the theme as I can get from a summary overview.

      lets take a stab in the dark and mind you all to note the military truths of the matter are hard to determine exactly to their fullest extent on the open internet as the military especially when it comes to keeping secrets from, well other militaries, as in force in the military, need to know is the watchword in these friendlier times, and from the tippymost of my head the foxer was designed by WW1 pilots to keep with them relaying secrets to anyone who could guess the foxer, if they were down’d, over enemy lines, or friendly. and left in the wreck to scatter to the winds.

      Top left :An early military intel safe work space with mostly gun and tubular, like a on edge sardine can, later made round for the flying fortress, hence hard to tell apart at the displayed angle. spend some time in a can it’ll be good for your health, practically bulletproof.
      In order clockwise: French gallic typewriter, gallic letters that look exactly western, or the regular abc, French note one.
      :-South American damn, unknown location, it ain’t all the good ole US of A gives rise to sport acconnotations “spelling” and the ball hypothesis, with green rendered frog down the bottom half, looks like frogger, more French. 1 to france
      :-French missile, to mind the only one I know of, and named the Javelin, for the M version Americanised, well noted, and agreed to, one point France, agreed to and American javelin name, 1 point America. (USA) cos im lazy you bored football freaks.
      :- WW1 French helmet, later adopted by the US M designation noted, 1 point france, 1 point America.
      CENTRE: nasty little piece of work, french designed hammer, pictured, detonated stable defended line of defense, nuclear weapon, girl well trained no doubt, to presumeably hit the right spot. France 1 point, don’t quote me on this one.
      :-French “premier” jet, not French made, usually a cause of the French sacrificing life and limb, as in the French Premier’s jet, but i’m undecided on this one, going all the way france, gotta roll with the punches you know.
      :a mystical game from the dawn of computers, given military secrets, the widespread use of the computer and almost all periferals adopted to ease humungouse “spelling” paperwork issues at all levels of the military, my guess, an early frog, probably, less, still backing france, frogger without straight roads. 1 point france.
      5 goals to france, 2 to USA. Fantasy football? Ain’t france outta the world cup, The US is through to the round of 16. god knows it keeps the eyeballs occupied.

      Don’t Quote me and you can never really tell if its military photo’s and they don’t tell civvies jack, I like these foxers, its not for blood, its Mil intel, but for funsies, James Bond Style.
      Feel free to pick my response to death if we get our name in lights next week we’ll be heroes for a week, managed it once but by goddamn do I hate typing.

      Heres hoping its france v USA and its the full time score, be a killer match, dunno go with my first easy to type answer and don’t be a rude french sportsman. Sport ain’t for blood.

  2. Shiloh says:

    That helmet looks like the iconic M1 US infantry lid.

  3. Premium User Badge Joshua says:

    Aah, Rise of Flight. Thy beauty is as fragile as a teenage relationship.

    Speaking of Rise of Flight, it’s having a summer sale both on Steam and on the Rise of Flight official website, so now is your chance to try some WW1 shenanigans at various different pricepoints.

    Does anyone know how Pat Wilson’s Campaign Generator for Rise of Flight compares to Over Flander’s Fields massive campaign? I have been mightily interested in WW1 (aviation) lately, and I wonder if it is worth picking the latter up whilst I now have a small collection of neat planes for RoF.

  4. P.Funk says:

    TarJack from subsim.com?!

    Damn the sim community is tiny.

    Sad that the Silent Hunter franchise’s latest standalone (see not stupid F2P online garbage) iteration is mostly only good for screenshots. There was a time when I counted the likes of WW2 submarine sims amongst the select few genres that received support. That day is gone, though SH3/4 lives on.

    • Zenicetus says:

      It’s a little better than just for screenshots, but man, the work you have to do with installing mods, to get it there!

      I never bought Silent Hunter 5 after hearing what a disaster it was, but then it came up for sale on Steam recently for $10 and I figured it was worth a shot, to see what the mod community had done in the years since release. Then I found out on the forums that I should have bought it directly from Origin, since that version can accept a user-made patch that won’t work on the Steam version. It was only $2 on Origin, so that was easy. I hate Origin and their stupid social interface game launcher, but I’ll put up with it for a special case like this.

      Then came the mod research. I’m running it with 25 mods (not that many, compared to some), and it *sort of* works, although it still has a patched-together-with-chewing-gum feel to it. The modders have done an amazing job of making this turkey playable, but I think you have to be a hardcore sub sim enthusiast, and probably also a veteran of the previous SH3/SH4 sims to appreciate the final result and have fun with it. I’m so exhausted by figuring out the mods and getting it in shape to play, that I had to put away my starting campaign for a while, so I can come back to it fresh later on.

      For someone with a more casual interest in WW2 subs, either SH3 (German/Atlantic) or SH4 (American/Pacific) with one of the mega-mods would be a better choice.

      • Shiloh says:

        I’ve got an internet’s worth of mods for SH5 and though I’ve wrangled it to the point where it’s *nearly* SH3 with better graphics, it still isn’t quite there yet…

        • P.Funk says:

          I recently started playing SH3 again after a break of about 3 or 4 years. Usually what I would do is spend weeks getting my mod soup just right, tweaking compatibility, making minor personal edits, etc etc. This time I said “screw it, just get a mega mod, a few gui changes, some of the essential quality of life mods that are all compatible, and play”. Okay so I failed a little and it took me about a week to finally start sailing. I was being picky. I installed way fewer mods, but I started tweaking them.

          I dont’ have everything I want, some stuff requires annoying compatibility mods that require thinking hard while installing, but what I do have… well I would say that the word “unsatisfied” as used by an SH3 player who uses mods has none of the connotations that the same word used by an SH5 player would have.

          Is it true that you can’t even change the scope reticles in SH5 because they’re hard coded?

  5. Synesthesia says:

    This was amazing. Thank you.

    • Tim Stone says:

      My pleasure. The plan is to make this an annual thing. If anyone creates anything unusually fabulous in the next twelve months, please send it my way.

  6. Skabooga says:

    Bravo to all the contributors! Some really pretty scenes on display here.

  7. PopeRatzo says:

    I like the way Tim Stone writes.

    • Premium User Badge VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      Me too. I’m not much of a sim gamer or wargamer at all, yet I can’t help but read every Flare Path.

      • Paul B says:

        I used to love reading Tim’s stuff in PCGamer due to his distinctive style, so it’s great I’m now able to get a weekly fix for free on RPS.

    • Tim Stone says:

      Thanks! The inspirational images made the writing side dead easy.

      • P.Funk says:

        Your style makes me smile. The Flare Path is probably at the top of my short list of reasons I prefer RPS to other internet gaming swill.

  8. Premium User Badge Stellar Duck says:

    Nuts!

    I forgot to submit my entry.

    But I now see that compared to all these fancy sims it wouldn’t have stood much of a chance.

  9. Zenicetus says:

    Very nice images, congratulations to the winners!

    It’s a reminder of some great sims out there that I just haven’t had time to explore. And also a reminder that while it’s easy to complain about the sorry state of some niche areas in combat sims (modern tanks, subs, basically anything that floats), and the slow development pace and/or uncertain future in some civilian flight sims, we still have some great products out there to choose from. Much better now, than it was just a few years ago.

  10. Chorltonwheelie says:

    It’s a WHAT?