Thanks for the reply. The image is actually a 3D rendered plane with a photo background. Rendering the model lets you pick the angle, lighting, skin, and is much more detailed than game captures, but the games are definitely catching up.
I think, some details are better - skinning, however, isn't the same joy as once cause you can't create any custom skins due to the traffic. I didn' play it at all, so I got no comparsion to the old FM/DM, but I think that it may be a long way for them, to reach the latest perfection within all the modeling done in IL2 1946 - to say nothing of all the late war aircraft available there... !
I've had those trails for years, I just keep reusing them. Unfortunately I don't remember how I made them. I think it was just a thin line of white, I erased the corners on one end to make a starting point of the vapor trail, then duplicate the trail to another layer, make it wider and reduce the transparency, merge the two layers, then bend them or distort them to create the curve and imperfections. Guess I remember more than I realize. Hope that helps.
Thanks rOEN. The 109 skin didn't seem as detailed as the Spit's, but I am not as familiar with the 109 to know all the various details. I may research some and see about tweaking some of the weaker points of the existing skin.