UPDATED! Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: The Free Full-Body Bento Bakes-on-Mesh Compatible Kalhene Ariadna Female Mesh Body

UPDATE June 11th, 2020: The Kalhene Ariadna mesh body has just updated to version 2.0, with alpha layer support (SL Marketplace link). It now has a HUD with alpha cuts and skin shininess levels, addressing many of my most serious concerns about the product as outlined in my original blogpost below.

UPDATE June 14th, 2020: There’s a new version 2.1 of the Kalhene Ariadna mesh body! More details can be found at the very end of this blogpost.

UPDATE June 21st, 2020: The Kalhene Ariadna mesh body has been updated to version 2.3! Here’s a link to a new blogpost with all the details, including some pictures of the Ariadna mesh body paired with a couple of recent group gifts of Bento mesh heads from The Genus Project and Catwa.

UPDATE June 25th, 2020: The free Kalhene Ariadna female mesh body has been removed from the SL Marketplace, after Linden Lab received a DMCA complaint. More information is available here.


Somebody on the Freebie Queens SL Discord posted about a new Bakes-on-Mesh compatible, Bento full-body (i.e. head and body) female mesh avatar called Ariadna, from a company called Kalhene, which is available for free on the SL Marketplace.

Here is what the Kalhene Ariadna avatar looks like right out of the box, with the default body slider settings (the shape is included, as is the hair and the bathing suit). As you can see, the HUD is very basic and does not include alpha sections, but it does allow you change the colour of the nails (two lengths, long and short), the hairstyle (you can turn the bangs off or on), and the basic wardrobe that comes with this body: dress, swimsuit, bikini, shirt and leggings (there are options for stockings and pantyhose, too).

After a fair bit of tweaking with the body sliders (I left the default face slider settings alone, they were good as they were), here are the results. The body comes in two versions, flat-footed and high-heeled, and this is the latter, wearing one of the included Bakes on Mesh skins and included system eyes in a honey colour. The high-heeled shoes and strapless minidress are part of the basic starter wardrobe included in the package.

This body comes with a female AO which does not animate the hands, plus a separate facial animator, plus a separate animator for the Bento hands. Instead of the latter, I just used the hands AO that came with the freebie Altamura mesh bodies, my standard go-to hand animator. (The Altamura one gives me three different cycles of animations to choose from, and they work flawlessly with this body. The one that comes with Ariadna basically just clenches and unclenches her fists.)

The Ariadna body comes with four Bakes-on-Mesh skins in pale (as shown above), medium, sunkissed, and dark skin tones, but of course this body takes any BoM skin. I tested out a skin that I already had in my inventory, called Elvira in the maple skin tone (a free Advent gift from last Christmas at 7 Deadly S[k]ins), and swapped out the included system eyes for the brown ones from the Bitsy starter Second Life avatar, and let me tell you, she looks gorgeous! This is by far the most pleasing result I have gotten out of all the freebie Bakes-on-Mesh full-body avatars I have test driven so far.

According to the SL Marketplace listing, the Kalhene Ariadna body is “compatible with most Maitreya clothes and shoes”, so I decided to test that out, too. And yes, I have found that she can wear shoes intended for Maitreya Lara mesh feet (both flat and high heels, but not mid-height heels). I find it a little weird to have to swap out the entire avatar just to change the feet height, instead of just clicking a setting on the HUD, but hey, it works. Your shoe options are limitless with this body.

But clothing is going to be a problem area. There are no alpha sections on the included HUD, and even worse, I found that the alphas that come included with many outfits simply did not work on this mesh avatar! Here’s an example of a Maitreya Lara dress that pretty much fits the Kalhene Ariadna body perfectly, the Novalee dress and scarf group gift from Hilly Haalan. Even on that, there are areas that poke through at the elbow and the underarm:

I did find one Maitreya Lara group gift from Hilly Haalan that fit without any problems: this Pam Valentine’s dress (no elbow or underarm problems here!). I have a feeling that the skimpier the Maitreya Lara outfit, the better it will probably work on the Ariadna body.

It’s a good thing that this body comes with a starter wardrobe, because it looks like you’ll be trying on and discarding Maitreya Lara-compatible outfits for a while until you find one or two that work. It’s such a shame, because this is a beautiful mesh head and body.

So, I can wholehearted recommend Ariadna if you are flat broke, because this free package includes absolutely everything you would need to get started, even the skin, eyes, hair, the animation overrides, and a basic capsule wardrobe! I mean, you don’t have to spend a single Linden dollar here, folks! She’s all ready to hit the beaches and the nightclubs, as is, right out of the box! But your clothing options may be limited.

Oh, and the packaging it comes in is rather cute, too, if that matters to you:

UPDATE June 8th, 2020: I forgot to mention one important thing about the Ariadna body: the head and the body can be worn separately! So if you find the Ariadna mesh body problematic, just replace it with any other Bakes-on-Mesh compatible body. In the following picture, I used the group gift of the Classic Meshbody with the Ariadna mesh head, wearing a Classic/TMP-compatible dress and high heels from my inventory:

Perfection! And the best part is, you can use the included Classic Mehbody HUD to select alpha sections, to wear just about any clothing with it! More information on this dollarbie group gift from Meshbody can be found here.

In fact, I am going to go out of my way to say that this is such a beautiful mesh head, that you should go get the Alhene Ariadna package, just for that! Seriously, with the advent of so many high-quality, Bento, Bakes on Mesh heads like this, shelling out L$5,000 or more for one of the pricier store brands of heads is starting to look like a much less attractive option!

A close-up of the Kalhene Ariadna Bento mesh head, wearing the Bitsy starter Second Life avatar eyes and wearing the Elvira skin in the maple skin tone from 7 Deadly S[k]ins.

UPDATE June 11th, 2020: As I mentioned in the red alert box up top, Kalhene has just released version 2.0 of the Ariadna body (SL Marketplace link). Here is a look at the two HUDs that are included, the original Clothes HUD and the new Bodymesh HUD:

Among the many new features on the Bodymesh HUD are:

  • A selection of “thick” alpha cuts, plus the ability to alpha out the back, the entire upper body, and the entire lower body;
  • Eight levels of skin glossiness (a definite improvement over the default glossy skin of version 1.0 of this body!);
  • The ability to hide or show both the short and long fingernail options and the toenails, plus an expanded selection of 36 different nail colours and patterns;
  • Three colours of pubic hair in three styles each (or you can turn it off completely);
  • The stockings and tights options now come in black or white, and have an opacity setting (you can also remove them completely).

Also, I have tested and I can confirm that the alphas that come with clothing do now indeed work on this body!

So, a truly beautiful mesh Bento, Bakes-on-Mesh compatible head-and-body combination, at a price that can’t be beat—FREE!—has just gotten even better. You owe it to yourself to pick this fabulous freebie up as soon as possible! Remember the head and the body are two separate parts, so you can mix and match with other mesh bodies and heads you already own!

You can also expect an add-on market for shapes for this body (just keyword search for “Kalhene”). SL vlogger Naria Panthar has already released one for free, and has posted a video:

Cat Pink SL has also released a video about the Kalhene Ariadna body:

UPDATE June 14th, 2020: The creators of the Kalhene Ariadna body have updated it yet again, to version 2.1! Dagger Faulkwing posted the following message to the Freebie Queens SL Discord channel:

Ryan and all, Ariadna has updated again! I got v.2 and, when I tried setting up Maitreya footwear, found that you couldn’t adjust height off the ground using foot shapes. Sent creator a note and by the end of yesterday she’d sent me a Beta copy to test. Problem solved with that body and this morning I got v.2.1. from MarketPlace. This not only solves the foot shape problem, but adds a number of Show / Hide buttons to the Body HUD, including my favourite, Show / Hide Ears. This replaces ears with a smooth almost invisible patch and means I can wear my Elf ears with Ariadna!

Here’s a look at the new, updated HUDs:

The Clothing and Bodymesh HUDs in Version 2,1 of the Kalhene Ariadna Body

Here is an avatar look I was able to pull together using the Ariadna body with the recent free gift of the Strong Face Bento head from the Genus Project (which is unfortunately no longer available):

This avatar is wearing:

Mesh Head, Mesh Eyes and Lipstick: Strong Face by the Genus Project (a free former group gift; the store is currently closed because of a DMCA filing)

Mesh Body, Dress, Thong, and Shoes: Ariadna by Kalhene (free from the SL Marketplace; this body comes with a complete starter wardrobe!)

Skin Applier: Mabeline in caramel from 7 Deadly S[k]ins (this is the current monthly free group gift, an Omega and Bakes on Mesh skin which comes in six different skin tones, and was designed for the Genus Strong series of heads). I joined the 7 Deadly S[k]ins store group during gone of their occasional free group join periods in the past. But I have good news! The store group now costs only L$7 to join over 7 days as part of their 7th Anniversary celebrations, so be sure to join now!

Hair: Rhea by Sintiklia (free gift through The Stay at Home Club). The long, wavy Rhea hair by Sintiklia comes in a full fatpack of colours, and includes a styling HUD to wear each side forward or back as you desire. The Rhea hairstyle package also includes two styles of bangs, which are separate attachments.

Animation Override: Lessie gift AO from GoldSquare (this was a free group gift; at the time I picked this up, it was free to join the GoldSquare group, but now it costs L$19 to join)

TOTAL COST FOR THIS ENTIRE AVATAR LOOK: FREE!

In summary, the Kalhene Ariadna full-body package is a truly beautiful Bento, Bakes on Mesh, Maitreya Lara-compatible mesh body with pretty much everything you need to get started, right out of the box! Go get this and try it out for yourself! I think you will also be impressed.

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A Look at the New Beehive Shopping Event in Second Life

Today, I paid a visit to brand new shopping event in Second Life, called the Beehive event (here’s the SLURL).

Set to a nostalgic, 1920s soundtrack, the organizer, Kieran Somerville, describes this new monthly shopping event as having “a comforting, home based feel”. Kieran writes:

We’ve all been through a lot with everything happening, and we wanted a full supportive and welcoming event. Our other spin on this, is that we’re a fully LGBTQIA + friendly event. While we aren’t running this as FULLY PRIDE THEMED event, we want products from people who are supportive. Our first round starts in June of 2020. There could be some good gifts to give away during the first round, so make sure you stick around! We’re not a high end designer outlet, so we’re trying to boost the unknown, and those that are looking for something different. We don’t discriminate, so we treat everyone professionally and equally.

A few of the participating vendors have gifts! This Pride-themed shirt is a gift from The Bold Llama T-Shirt Company booth (you’ll have to unpack it at home, though):

The event runs from now until June 29th, 2020. For more information about the Beehive Event, visit their website, join their Discord server, or follow them on Facebook and Flickr. See you there!

Another Fifteen-Minute Second Life Avatar Makeover: Trump Baby!

Look, I realize that I am absolutely powerless to do anything about the malignant narcissist who is currently inhabiting the White House in the United States (and as a Canadian, I can’t even vote his incompetent ass out of office come November).

However, I still do have one potent tool at my disposal, and after 14 years in Second Life, I have become an expert at wielding it: styling a complete Second Life avatar look from head to toe! (Too bad I can’t make any money at it.)

And so, late last year, well and truly fed up with the antics of Donald Trump, I decided to use my skills to create a parody version of Twitler himself!

My inspiration for the following avatar look came from a six-metre-high inflatable balloon depicting Donald Trump as a snarling orange baby (grasping a cellphone from which he launches his tweets), which first was flown in London, during a memorable protest against Trump’s visit to the U.K. on July 13th, 2018 (the balloon is so iconic, it even has its own Wikipedia entry!):

The Trump baby blimp (source: BBC)

This was my Before look, an avatar with a Catwa Stanley head and a Signature Gianni body (who shall remain nameless since entering the Second Life Avatar Protection Program for his own safety after participating in this makeover!):

And here is my After look!

Trump Baby in action

This avatar is wearing:

Mesh Head: the Stanley Bento mesh head by Catwa (L$5,000)

Mesh Body: the Gianni mesh body by Signature (L$4,000; the shape came with the Donald skin applier below)

Skin Applier: Donald by Session for the head, L$399, and a matching Omega applier for the body, L$299

Hair: Donald hair in ash blonde by Alli & Ali Hair (free on the SL Marketplace)

Animation Override: Bento Fat Boy AO by Voir (L$349)

Diaper: Tushiez diaper version 3.0 by the Imagination Factory (L$349 on the SL Marketplace; the diaper even makes crinkling noises as he walks!)

Animated Pacifier: Pa-w-cifier (Pawpers edition) by Little Space Kreations (free on the SL Marketplace); here’s a short video of it in action:

TOTAL COST FOR THIS AVATAR LOOK: L$9,748‬ (and WORTH. EVERY. GODDAMN. PENNY.)

Needless to day, I have taken this avatar for several spins around the grid, and he has already been banned from several sims (including a few adult ones!), and politely asked to leave a few others for overstaying his welcome. In fact, he attracts so much vitriol that I only pull him out for special occasions, like this blogpost!

So, what do you think? Should I rent him out for in-world protests, weddings, and bar mitzvahs? 😉 I could just have a booming business on my hands!

Editorial: Eat. Sleep. Drag Race. Repeat.

Treat everyone you meet like God in drag.

—Ram Dass

Ladies and gentlemen (and fabulous people of all genders), I am now in day 84 of self-imposed pandemic lockdown in my apartment, the weather is cold and overcast, my eczema is acting up, Donald Trump is somehow still in office, people are still protesting, and I am in a mood.

Sometimes I think the only thing that is keeping me sane lately is RuPaul’s Drag Race. I need to buy this T-shirt for sale on Amazon, which pretty much sums up my life lately:

Drag queens are my real-life superheros: people who don’t give a damn what you think, they are going to be here, to represent, and to entertain! So I decided that, instead of writing about social VR platforms and virtual worlds when I am in such a foul and cranky mood, I would instead share a few recent favourite drag videos with you. (Please bear with me. We will soon return to our regular programming.)

Drag queens are responding to the pandemic (of course!) by hosting livestream drag shows on Twitch and other platforms, where each performer puts on a small show from their home, and this absolute gem of a lip-sync is by Asia O’Hara: Whenever I hear this song, it is 1980, and I am sixteen years old again, listening to 45s on a record player, singing and dancing with my high school friends in somebody’s basement rec room! I still have all my old 45s and I cannot bear to part with them.

The next video is a mashup of several well-known drag queens from various seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race: Alaska (full drag name: Alaska Thunderfuck 5000), Manila Luzon, Adore Delano, Jinkx Monsoon, and Sharon Needles. It perfectly illustrates the in-your-face, confrontational attitude that is also a part of drag culture. Remember, drag queens were among the protesters who fought against the police in the Stonewall riots, a key event in queer history that helped launch the gay rights movement, and the reason many cities celebrate Pride every year in June.

RuPaul’s Drag Race is my favourite reality TV show, and it always cheers me up when I am feeling down. Between the recently-concluded Season 12 of RPDR, Untucked, RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 5 (which just started last Friday, and promises lots of drama), RuPaul’s Celebrity Drag Race, and the upcoming Canada’s Drag Race, RuPaul’s production company is here to feed the children during this dumpster-fire year of 2020, and I am here for every second! We are indeed blessed.

I leave you with some vintage RuPaul:

If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else! Can I get an amen?

—RuPaul Charles