As I stated in my original review of the new, free Senra Blake male mesh body, while the six included head and body skins Linden Lab provided for it are prefectly serviceable, I still find them a little too unblemished, flat, and “pretty” for my tastes.
So I loaded my oldest male avatar, with the actual legacy name of Morden Winkler (shoutout to all the Manitobans!), created on March 14th, 2007, whose inventory has never been cleaned out in almost 6,000 days (16¼ years!) and therefore has lots of older skins intended for classic, system bodies.
And man, I gotta tellya, I hit paydirt with one old Belleza male skin, which was a particular favourite of mine back in the old days! I can’t remember where I picked it up (I think it was a hunt gift), but it’s called Belleza Ewan 0 tan (0 stands for clean-shaven, I seem to remember; it also came in various versions with facial hair). Here’s what Morden Winkler looks like with the Belleza Ewan skin paired with the Senra Blake body (click on each image to see it in full size):
There are only two problems: one, the fingertips will be a different colour (see image one below), so you will definitely need to use something like Sweet’s free tintable Quick Nail Cover Fix on the SL Marketplace (see image two below).
And the second problem? When he blinks, the eyebrows get slightly deeper! Something you can’t tell, obviously, from my still pictures. So, while I loved the final result, I decided to spend my Saturday afternoon looking around the grid for free and inexpensive skins that would work well with the Senra Blake body, with a minimum of fiddling and fuss.
My first stop was, of course, the Belleza store, where (if you join the Belleza group for free), you can still pick up two packages of older men’s skins, which date from 2013/2014:
Here’s what some of their gift skins look like on the Blake mesh body (see image captions for skin names; all these skins are tan, but they also come in other skin tones):
Again, you will have the problems I outlined above with the Ewan skin: white patches on the fingertips, and some eyebrow movement when you blink.
My next stop was a store, Brox, which features L$1 skins for male avatars. I had picked up a free package of eight of their skins as a past L’Homme Magazine gift, so I tried them out on Morden, and I was pretty pleased. Here’s what they look like (again, please click on the images to see them bigger):
At first glance, I thought that these Brox skins did a good job of covering the fingers, but then I noticed a small white spot on the thumbs, so you will probably still have to use something like Sweet’s Quick Nail Cover Fix on them anyways:
Also, I noticed that the toenail textures for these skins didn’t apply correctly to the feet! Again, you can try the Sweet’s nail fix (they also have one for toes in the package), and if your avatar is wearing shoes, nobody will notice it. But it is rather odd.
Next, I tried out some skins from the SL Marketplace. Sweet’s has three L$1 sets of Basic Male Skins, Tones 0 and 1, Tones 2 and 3, and Tones 4 and 5. They come in Classic Style (for calssic, system avatars), and Mesh Style (intended for mesh avatars). Here’s what Tone 3 (Mesh Style) looks like on the Senra Blake body:
There is a separate package of matching head skins with four different styles of beard, which you can unpack and try on for size:
But again, when your avatar blinks, the eyebrows distort; here’s a quick video, so you can see the problem for yourself:
I’m starting to think that any of the older male skins are going to have this problem, for which I have not yet been able to find any sort of workaround (I tried adjusting the sliders on the eyes and the eyebrow shape, to no avail).
Anyway, I will stop here and keep investigating, and if I find out anything, I will update this blogpost.