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MigBuster

Leatherneck Sims update

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Dear all, 

Welcome to the very awesome (boring) very first (meagre) issue of the new monthly Leatherneck Simulations updates!

It's been a while since the last official LNS update, but don't fret – we've been as busy as ever behind the scenes. 
Our primary focus over the past few months has been on wrapping up the MiG-21, completing various auxiliary and management tasks, as well as gradually transitioning into our next project(s). 
We are incredibly excited to venture into the new year and experience all that lies therein. Without a doubt, DCS will be bigger and better than it has ever been before.

We couldn't have been as successful as we have been in 2014 without the massive amount of support from everyone. 
Heartfelt thank you from the entire LNS team go out to all media representatives, streamers or writers who took the time to assess our product, the ever-patient and fantastic community, and the talented 
individuals at Eagle Dynamics & The Fighter Collection, who have gone above and beyond more frequently than I can count. We can't thank you all enough!

As we've come some ways since release of the MiG-21, we are afforded the clarity of a distanced retrospective on what went right and wrong before, during and after release of the MiG-21.
After taking an honest look at ourselves and what we should change moving forward, we have made some changes in how Leatherneck operates and produces content. 
The MiG-21 modules' development and release has been a learning experience in many ways, and we will be applying this new-found knowledge to better ourselves as we develop new and exciting products.

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One of the items that have been on the back-burner for a while have been the backer rewards. 
We've simply not had the resources available to design and produce these items in the immediate post-release period.

We currently have quotes and suppliers for everything slated for production, but still have some decisions to make as to what we'll actually opt to go for. 
Some physical rewards will be consolidated into bigger items. This mainly refers to smaller items such as stickers. We hope to provide amicable options for all backers, but more importantly: ship only actually useful and well-crafted items. 
Quality over quantity, as it were. We hope to order production runs on these items during the course of January, and ship them to all backers as soon as they are delivered (est. February).

The DVD jewelcase artwork will be based on the cover you can currently find on the ED E-Store (here)
It will of course be expanded to encompass both sides of the case.

Many of you opted for higher backer tiers during the crowdfunding campaign of 2012, and you are thus entitled to more than one MiG-21 key. 
These keys will be merged into the main key database and sent out in January. Apologies for the long delay on getting these out.

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The MiG-21 is our first product and thus it has without a doubt been a considerable learning experience.
Despite our best efforts, a significant amount of flaws were pushed with the release build of the aircraft. 
We've put in a concentrated effort in order to eradicate these as quickly as possible, and we hope that progress has been palpable for the end-user. 

Nonetheless, there are a number of both large and small improvements and fixes still pending. 
Listed below are some of the major additions planned:

  • New & improved sounds, both in interior and exterior views. Based on real MiG-21 samples. Improved Engine RPM Feedback and immersion.
  • Improved radar screen visual representation.
  • Re-Introduction of red cockpit floodlights
  • Performance improvements wherever possible.
  • Major improvements in exterior 3d model accuracy (pylon tilt, wing thickness, gear door shape, front windshield fuselage joint and more)
  • New AAA quality pilot model in the cockpit (toggleable)
  • (in conjunction with previous) Animated and correct post-ejection pilot model & animations
  • Improved artwork & textures for various ordinance (SPS-141, ASO-2, Atomic bombs and more)
  • Default cockpit livery variations. (Green, Finnish, etc.)
  • 10+ New default liveries. (Bulgarian, Polish, Czech, GDR, Cuba, and much more)
  • Re-introduction of tactical numbering


We apologize for any inconvenience caused by issues found in the MiG-21, we hope they have not been too detrimental in your enjoyment of the aircraft. 
Also, a big thank you to all of you who have been diligently submitting helpful bug reports, they are simply priceless.

As we move closer to the release of our next module, we plan to significantly expand the size of our internal testing team. 
We hope to reduce the amount of release-build bugs in any future product launches.

In the next few weeks we also hope to resolve some of the silly activation errors occuring and causing issues for some users. This includes options to properly deactivate the module.

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While we wanted to release the paint kit immediately after release, we quickly realized that this was not quite feasible considering 
the amount of 3D and 2D changes coming with the updated and improved external 3D Artwork. 

Thus; we decided to delay the paint kit until the very final version of the external model is released. 
We know how frustrating it can be to update broken liveries, both as livery creators and end-users, so we'll make sure to try and keep any retroactive art changes to a minimum in the future.

The updated external model is slated to arrive with DCS 2.0, so expect the Paint Kit at around the same time. 
The 10+ additional liveries that were created prior to release will also be made available at this time. 
Special thanks to Matija Huzjak for a beautiful Croatian Air Force skin that will be included in the package.

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The fine gentlemen at ThreeAppsStudios Studios (https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...reeAppsStudios) have created a great Android based application 
to help you fly the MiG-21.

You can find it here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...sstudios.mig21

We'd like to extend our gratitude to Milan and his team for their perseverance and excellent craftsmanship. 
Hope to work with you again soon!

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2015 will mark a year of considerable growth and expansion for Leatherneck Simulations. 
This will ensure that we are prepared to meet the ambitious content production goals that we have set forth for ourselves for the next few years. 
Reinvestment of resources into all facets of our business will allow us to provide you all with better and far more content than before.

Since the release of the MiG-21, we have already grown to double our initial size. We'll be introducing you to each of our new members in the coming months. 
We expect to add yet another 3-4 members to our staff during Q1 of 2015. This, in addition to a new permanent office location in Swinoujscie, Poland.
The release and performance of the MiG-21 solidifies our investment into DCS, and we remain genuinely committed to the flight simulation genre. 
We are here to stay for a long time to come.

Currently we have three aircraft in advanced states of development, with a few more in mixed, but primarily earlier stages. 
We have already hinted heavily at one of the advanced ones, and we'll be showcasing more on all three as we get closer to their respective release dates. 
You shouldn't expect to have to wait until 2016 to fly a new Leatherneck module. Overall, we are confident that we will be able to cater to almost all of your tastes. 
Maybe we'll even manage to avoid the pitchforks.

Regardless of the aircraft, we will always be trying to push the envelope, both in simulation and visual fidelity. 
Various planned features will require solving difficult design challenges (related to both gameplay and technical considerations), but we are confident in our ability to overcome these. 
By applying everything we've learned during the MiG-21's protracted development, we can focus on improving ourselves and building on our existing standards. Some of you have raised concerns about certain features or requirements precluding the development of various aircraft, but we do not currently feel limited by any such considerations.

Moving away from aircraft, EDGE now affords us the ability to build new theaters and complement our aircraft with appropriate campaigns and missions. 
Currently, we have development plans stretching across a wide variety of locales and eras. Maps built by Leatherneck will adhere to the same rigorous standards we place upon our aircraft modules, and will be based on an appropriate fusion of artistic skill and real-world data. 

We did plan to push a little.. something out today to tease what is to come; but following an untimely missplaced bill, our site is still down, so it will have to wait a little longer. 
You'll live. I hope? hehe.gif

This post turned out to far too long considering the meagre content. 
Excuse the long-windedness, and expect the next monthly update to be far more image heavy. wink.gif

Once again, thank you all for your unwavering dedication and support. It means the world to us.

Stay tuned and expect to hear from us very soon.

Sincerely,
Leatherneck Simulations
N, M, N, R, T, C, A, A
__________________
/Nicholas Dackard

Artist
Leatherneck Simulations

EVERYTHING IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE

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Cool news I guess. Leatherneck has proven they can roll out quality products and they have the know-how.

 Anyone care to speculate about what the projects will be? Wasn't one supposed to be something with a "L" in it, so I guess P-38 Lightning? I am guessing at one jet, one warbird and one helo. Or possible no helo but two warbirds. As for what they might be I dont know. Cobra is a swede so I am crossing my fingers for a Draken. 

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*shrug* They make what they make. I'm in no particular rush for anything specific, if I get the bug to fly plane X I just fire up SF2. :wink: The 21 is a great bird, I doubt I'll ever use half of the stuff they modeled in there.

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Whatever the bugs or inaccuracies, the MiG-21bis is a masterpiece. Equally fun to just fly around or engage in combat. MiG-21bis vs AI F-5E is a great guns only duel. I wish they would release many variants of MiG-21 as well as the MiG-23.

Edited by streakeagle

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As it is right now they have hinted so hard at a Tomcat that people are only waiting for the official announcement. Hints like: Top Gun, Jester, Goose, a pic showing a part ofan  AWG-9 antenna, cats and ducks, or even more recently "You've lost that loving feeling" and even the Black Lions VF-213 squadron logo is part of Cobra's avatar... This is just too obvious. Not to mention that in the future banner the plane looks like an F-14 landing shot.

 

When i last posted here i mentioned i would be jumpng in if a proper Tomcat was made. I never actually believed it would be done because of the multi-crew aspect and the Tomcat being a behemoth of complexity to model but Leatherneck works close to the metal and they released an amazing MiG-21. If someone told me there would be a Tomcat on DCS i would think that maybe only ED would do it. But amazing as the MiG-21 is, i have nothing but huge faith in their ability to deliver!

 

So a Tomcat, if we discount all the multi-crew development issue for now the question is....which model? I don't know why but i feel a itch for the A model. I think it just suits better the MiG-21 timeframe, the natural MiG-21 would the the F-4E or the F-8, or even the F-5 at a lesser extent. The idea of flying a F-14A with those fussy engines and mastering the flight model and the AWG-9 is just too intense. The B would be great too, to be able to use all the aerodynamical features of the airframe without fear of choking and stalling the engines. The D model did so well in the the last Tomcat days for the Navy that people today still hypotesize the what if scenario of what could a properly updated Tomcat do against the Super Hornet, this at least if the decent thing was done back in the day and actually test one against the other and then let the Navy decide. But for DCS i don't know, the most modern planes are only FC level of detail so at the moment i would prefer a way older Tom.

 

The greatest news is that they have 2 more planes in advanced development stages. If the Tomcat is indeed coming in i would love to see 2 more fighters that would fit the 1970's timeframe. Another Soviet plane like the MiG-23 and a european fighter like the Mirage III would be great. I like Centurion's sugestion of a Draken, it was an amazing plane, albeit its weak missiles (which for the fun factor can be great!).

 

If Leatherneck keeps developing within a time frame that suits their prodicts nicely i believe they'll become by far the most successful third party DCS developer by far.

Edited by Carlos_Tex

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Yeah the Tomcat is bound to be great if it really it is. I too hope for the A model because then we can do some pretty awesome Iran/Iraq war scenarios (we'd need the terrain too, mind you..). As for the others, they said to they would cater to almost all our tastes so I am guessing one will be a WW2 warbird? What if they decided to jump on the 50s bandwagon and are making something like a Hawker Hunter or even Tunnan? Whatever it is, it will be great. Personally I hope for more cold war goodness, 1960-1975 timeframe stuff would be ideal!

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I would want an F-14A with all of its older systems. A MiG-23MF is an interesting match against the F-14A. As long as they can keep up the quality of their releases, I will probably be happy with anything they choose to do.

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I would want an F-14A with all of its older systems. A MiG-23MF is an interesting match against the F-14A. As long as they can keep up the quality of their releases, I will probably be happy with anything they choose to do.

 

Hmmm, you bring an intereting point. The A models had tons of production blocks with different systems. I think that i would prefer maybe an 82 model Tomcat, if i'm no mistaken it was around that time they started delivering or installing TCS on the Tomcats (maybe Caeser can help me here). Either way it doesn't matter Early A or later A Tomcat if Leatherneck delivers a Tomcat module with the same level of quality they did with the MiG-21 i'm in.

 

I think a MiG-23MLD would probably be the best one to give the Tomcat a good fight, any previous model would be a better match against a later model F-4 which i'm hoping that we'll have in the future as well. As a matter of fact if i could choose i would go for a Navy F-4B or an Air Force D model with those pesky Falcon missiles.

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The MiG-23MLD makes sense in the DCS/FC3 background, and I would gladly take it.

But The early F-14A is historically the opponent of the MiG-23MF and MiG-23MS.

It would be cool if a bunch of aircraft from the same decade were actually available (in this case, the 1970's).

MiG-21bis, MiG-23MF, F-4E, F-14A, F-15A, F-16A.

The F-18A was mostly just an artist's concept in magazines.

These are the fighters I grew up with :)

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Call me the odd man out, but I want an A+ nee' B. I have no love for the TF30s, gimme some nice GE's to stand on my tail with!

The D's radar upgrades are nice, but I've never really had experience with like I did the A's setup, so the B is the best of both worlds. :grin:

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The F-14D would easily be the best option for matching the Flaming Cliffs era planeset, and I wouldn't fault Leatherneck for choosing to provide that model nor the fans who want it: easily the Navy equivalent to the F-15E Strike Eagle with more power-to-weight and low speed agility. The only limit being built-in DCS support for its avionics, which couldn't really be attempted until ED's F/A-18C is further along.

 

For the same reason that I enjoy flying the MiG-21bis with all of its old tech, I personally prefer the earliest variants possible of the teen fighters. I want an early F-14A with TF30's. It was not the Tomcat the Navy wanted, but it was the Tomcat they got and were stuck with for quite some time. From 1971 until 1987 (almost the peak of the Cold War arms race), it was all they had. I would just as much like an early F-15A with its touchy F100's. These are the perfect historical matches to the MiG-21bis already available, the MiG-23M/MF/MS, the MiG-25P/PD/PDS, and Su-15TM of that same era. This is a plane set I would like to see much more than the Flanker/LOMAC/FC '90s era. Of course, the F-4D/E and F-4J/N/S need to be there in quantity for a truly accurate representation of US military air power during that time: "DCS:Strike Fighters"

Edited by streakeagle

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