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The Flare Path Summer Exhibition 2014

The Art of Simulation

...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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Tim Stone