8AK5 Fort Crosby, Alaska | Detailed Backcountry Airstrip

Note: This was a WIP thread for a scenery that has now been released. It is now used as a community post thread for Fort Crosby!

Check out the official release thread (Future updates will be announced here):

Welcome to Fort Crosby!
Located 14 mi (22 km) to the Northwest of Talkeetna, Alaska in the Mat-Su valley, Fort Crosby is a private backcountry airstrip with a 1550 ft (472 m) long gravel runway. This makes it the perfect backcountry location for aircraft all the way up to light twins, with the only real limitation being wingspan and height near the North end to clear the dirt berms and log stacks along the runway.

Fort Crosby is shaping up to be my most detailed payware release to date. The scenery will feature some all new vegetation, including detailed native shrubs, custom Birch tree models for better tree diversity, and some new groundcover.

All this blends with my already existing Emerald Object Library vegetation models to make only what I consider to be the bones of a great product. There is so much more to come that I haven’t even begun digging into just yet!

Like with all of my releases, expect a good amount of dynamic features to arrive later on in this project. This will include common stuff such as rain puddles & butterflies, but I’m also planning to implement some new, and reinvent some old. More on that to come!

Currently, the scenery features custom hand-corrected and color-matched 30cm/px aerial imagery, which was doubled from the original 60cm that I had started building this scenery with a year or so back. I have also done some extensive terraforming on top of the 2m/px elevation dataset, based on the few references I have of the strip.

The coverage area is quite large, spanning just past the lake to the Northwest and gravel pits to the Southeast (Which will be terraformed as well).

Right now, my current focus is on the airport, but I will be including some detail in the North gravel pit, and I have a list of several locations throughout the coverage area that I would like to touch on in varying levels of detail. Though, this will all depend on how much performance overhead I have when I get the airport done.

A heavy part of my focus in this project has not only been building the scenery itself, but touching on all of the assets I am using to ensure that everything has been aggressively optimized to Xbox standards.

Though I am shooting for a release to Xbox as well, I will not know for sure until the project is complete, submitted to marketplace, and testing begins.

By far, the biggest part of this project isn’t placing the models, but creating them. Luckily I have amassed a good collection of common models over the years with Emerald Object Library, but that does not spare me from the new assets and buildings that come with designing a scenery.

From my reference photos, which are a bit dated, the original structure here on the airstrip was just a metal overhang with no walls, but by the most recent satellite photo, a new hangar now stands in it’s place. So, this is where I have had to take a bit of creative liberty. It’s a private airstrip, so updated photos (Or, really any references at all) are nearly impossible to get…

So, I have created something simple, yet detailed. Since the airstrip is meant to be depicted in the late stages or just post construction, I figured I would go with a more modern metal design. Something that would realistically be built, and from what I can tell, is there now.

Obviously the entire design here is based on an educated guess with creative liberty, but it’s hard to have precision accuracy when it’s Billy Bob’s backyard chainsaw project (Or in this case, Excavator project). :smile:

Much like my previous payware - Forwood Farm, the hangar also includes a hangar door which opens and closes by aircraft proximity.

The interior of the hangar has been fleshed out with some clutter, and even a working clock (because, why not). Some of the clutter inside of the hangar is repurposed from Forwood Farm, though I have modeled several new assets and everything has been repainted! Maybe in a future post, I will show off a couple of my favorites out of these assets!

As it stands right now, there is still a decent bit to do on this project, but everything is moving along quite smoothly. It is my hope to have this one out sometime this fall, but until then I will be coming back to this thread periodically to share new progress updates!



Looks great man!! Keep it up lol

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There should be more accessible hangars at small airports !

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[4K Screenshots Available on Discord]

Since my last post, I have been focused on implementing more environmental items. More vegetation has been placed around the airstrip and with the addition of more rocks, logs, and fallen trees, the airstrip is really starting to come together.

I also made the decision to update the Pine Tree bark textures throughout the scenery. The texture now matches the one used on the log stacks for consistency. I also feel that it looks a lot more realistic than the old texture (which you can see in my post above).

This change will improve all 3rd party sceneries using this asset in the next Emerald Object Library update!

Unlike Chunilna Cabin Strip, the approach into Fort Crosby is pretty uneventful. You can land either direction as there is plenty of runway for most GA aircraft. The normal approach from the South brings you into a clear-cut field with an unobstructed final decent to the runway.

I spent some time working on sprucing up this area a bit by adding in some low poly bush groups, to sell it as really not being just a grass field. As I continue to work on the scenery, I suspect that I will be tweaking on this area even more to find a good balance of additional detail.

I am still saving most of the fun, dynamic stuff for later on in the project, but after discovering some ugly transitions while testing the winter environment, I couldn’t help myself. I had to at least start on the winter assets.

Something that has been on my own dev wishlist for a while was to implement some snow berms that hide/show when appropriate. And with this being more of a maintained strip with heavy equipment laying around, I figured that was enough of an excuse…

Of course, any new implementation comes with some quirks, and I am still trying to iron a few of those out. I was hoping to implement some new code that would tie the berm visibility into the snow depth slider, but there still seems to be a limitation here, so for the time being, they are still tied to ambient temperate.

Also, my old nemesis has returned. On first load, the berms will usually float above the ground until you get near them, then they will snap into place and display fine from that point out. This is a bug that I have been trying to crush since early December, and I’m at the point now where I believe it’s just the sim being the sim.

I feel as though I have tried every method imaginable to correct it. Even forcing an elevation based at sea level instead of using the default AGL system (Which should keep it at a fixed elevation at all times). Though, suprise-suprise, it doesn’t seem to work that way.

Though, limitations and issues aside: I also took some time to bring back icicles (now 3d, unlike in the cabin strip scenery) and add some snow accumulation on the hangar. Both of these are done with Blender plugins, and then were remeshed to retain detail while bringing them down to a much more comfortable amount of tris.

The implementation is exactly the same as the snow berms. Currently, they appear at or below 32F / 0C.

This week, I will be continuing on the modeling journey. I have about 10-12 basic buildings that I need to construct to fill in areas where autogen is not available or not correctly aligned. After this is done, the remainder of the scenery will really start to come together!

Until next time!


Work has continued on 3D assets over the last week. I have managed to chew my way through 7 buildings of varying detail, which will be spread throughout the coverage area.

I just have one more cabin to paint and then I will be back on modeling duty to finish up the other half of the building/cabin models I have on my to-do list. Which, right now is sitting at around 13-14 models total, not including anything else more specific I want to tackle (2 completed models are not pictured).

Note: Screen grabs from Substance Painter. Windows are implemented in Blender!


The last few weeks have been a bit slow-going, but I have still been making decent progress on the remaining modeling and texturing.

Today, I have finished painting the last of the buildings I had planned. Next step is finishing off windows and materials in Blender, then getting them placed in the sim.

Over the next week, I plan on jumping back into object placement and polishing up/optimizing the 3D models.

I may still have a few smaller models to create, but I’ll know more once I give the coverage area another good look-over. I likely will be creating a couple of additional color variants of a few of the more generic cabins, so that they can be reused throughout the scenery.

All of these models will be available in the next Emerald Object Library update, which will release alongside this airport.


Now that the bulk of the modeling is done, I have been working on getting the above buildings polished up and placed in the sim, as well as better filling out the areas around them and placing more models throughout the coverage area.

I also did another polishing pass on the aerial imagery, cleaning up building footprints and some shadows around the airstrip.

I hope to have almost everything, including dynamic stuff placed by this weekend and then move into optimization next week. So far it’s still looking good for a Fall release (Hopefully next month if all goes smoothly)!

Here’s the latest batch of shots showing off some of the locations throughout the coverage area:


I’m a few weeks behind where I wanted to be with this project due to some burnout I’ve had over the last month, but I’m still pushing to get this scenery done in the next couple of weeks.

I’m still in the process of creating LODs and doing optimization for all of the cabin models I have created, but I have also been working on my long pre-release to-do list, which includes polishing up some of the library models used throughout the scenery. This is affectively the part of the project where you check two items off of the list and then almost immediately add four more…

Alongside this, I have also still found some time to add a few new features around the Hangar, including Wwise SFX for the clock and improved lighting behaviors which allow the lights to illuminate from Dusk to Dawn as usual, but also when it’s Raining or Snowing to brighten up the mood a bit on those gloomy days. This effect is only being done for the lights on the Hangar. All other models throughout the coverage area use the standard Day/Night cycle.

I have put together a short video showcasing the new light code in action, as well as some of the other dynamic features including the clock, snow/icicles, puddles, and snow berms (Though these are all in the background, as the focus was on the lights).

I’m hoping to share some more progress soon, but this project is wrapping up - so there’s not a lot left to show!


Fort Crosby | The Final Dev Update!

I’m pleased to say that Fort Crosby has been undergoing beta testing for just over a week now and is quickly nearing release!

The last week has been focused on finishing optimization and polishing up the scenery as I get feedback. I have also begun the release process, taking screenshots, doing marketplace data, and am beginning to work on a trailer for release day!

Assuming that nothing big arises during the final days of beta, I’m hoping for a release on Tuesday! It will be available for $9.99 USD on the Emerald Scenery Design store and then come to Marketplace at a later date, as determined by Microsoft. I’m hoping for a release to Xbox at the same time as well, but of course that will depend on how Xbox testing goes!

This will be the last dev update for this project before release, so thanks to everyone that followed along with this project over the last few months!


Ive just watched your deep dive video on YouTube. This looks fantastic - looking forward to this abd hoping the xbox release isn’t too far off.

As an added bonus I came away with a greater appreciation for the work you put into your sceneries, and a new love for worn wood and paint textures! :grinning::+1:


Thanks for the kind words!

It was submitted to Microsoft on Sunday, so hopefully I will be able to begin testing in another week or so! Release likely sometime next month (Though, I don’t think I will ever be certain in that).


After several months of hard work, Fort Crosby is now available on the ESD website for $9.99 USD! It has also been submitted to Microsoft and will be available on Marketplace for PC & Xbox at a later date!

You can follow the official MSFS release thread here (Where future updates will be posted):

The product page can be found here:

And a the trailer and in-depth preview here:

Thanks for following along during the development of this airstrip!
Feel free to use this thread for any further discussion on Fort Crosby!

(And don’t forget to grab the latest version of Emerald Object Library!)


Real work of art, so many pleasing details. Well done, you can see you’ve enjoyed expending significant effort on this.


Looks great! What is the plane (Beaver?) in the screen shots? And where did you get the cool Army livery? Thanks a lot!

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Thanks! Yep, it’s the Beaver with the GotFriends 40th expansion. You can find the Army livery here:

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