Leatherneck Studios (and Magnitude 3) have done their winter 2019 update for fans of their modules with news on the recently released Christen Eagle II, the MiG-21bis, and the forthcoming F4U Corsair. It’s an interesting update!
MiG-21bis is not forgotten
For a while I think there was concern that, in the split between Leatherneck/Magnitude 3 and what ultimately became Heatblur that the MiG-21bis would be left behind or somewhat neglected. While the jet has had a difficult time transitioning into DCS World 2.5, it seems that Leatherneck is not content with just letting it be and are making sure that it meets expectations.
Inside and out, the MiG-21bis module is getting upgraded with a cockpit revamp that fixes the size and fit of the cockpit within the external module and clearer canopy glass. The exterior is also being worked on to fix the mesh where the tail merges into the spine. Leatherneck reports that this will alter the textures slightly but the changes sound minimal.
More importantly, Leatherneck is aiming to fix a major issue with the MiG-21bis and that’s the amount of memory that the jet takes up.
We have also been thinking about texture weight taking up users’ bandwidth, virtual memory and HDD/SSD space. It’s no secret our MiG-21bis uses a whopping 6GB of space and we want help reduce it!
New texture compression and a reorganization of the number of textures and default resolution of the textures should help solve performance issues and help with smooth flying.
Notably, some groups like the Grim Reapers won’t fly with the MiG-21 in their massed formations due to performance issues and my bet is that the current texture sizes have a lot to do with that.
Version 2 of the MiG-21bis for DCS World sounds like it will solve a lot of issues with the module. It’s great to see it getting the attention that it deserves.
F4U Corsair progress
Although they aren’t ready to show us the whole thing yet, Leatherneck is also working on the F4U Corsair which is their follow up module to their efforts with the Christen Eagle II. The CEII gave their developer team a lot of opportunity to fine tune their methods to what appears to be good success and that lets them tackle a slightly more complex project in the F4U Corsair.
The sneak peek that we do have is of some work in progress texture and mesh work on some of the F4U’s component parts. From the looks of it, the detailing is superb and we should have no worries what the Corsair will look like when they are done with it.
Hopefully we’ll be seeing and hearing more about this project soon!
CEII released and a few fixes
Compared to the combat modules, the Christen Eagle II is slightly simpler to handle but that doesn’t mean that it won’t have bugs or need a few fixes. Leatherneck is currently working on upgraded pilot models and animations, fixes to trim tab animations, internal sounds and adjustments to the flight model.
A talented team pushes forward
For a time I was worried that Leatherneck may not be around for too long but with the release of the Christen Eagle II and the success that this module has seen from a quality standpoint (based on everything that I’ve watched on YouTube and heard from virtual pilots) I think both the MiG-21 and F4U modules are in good hands.