I have been following the progress of the Kalhene Bento, Bakes on Mesh bodies (the Anya female body and the Alexa transgender body) for some time now, and I am mightily impressed with how often the creator issues updates. We are already at version 3.0 of the Anya body, which I have found to be 99% compatible with apparel and footwear designed for Maitreya Lara mesh bodies (the only area where I have sometimes encountered problems is the wrist area on certain long-sleeved tops).
For only L$1,695, you get not only a Maitreya-Lara-compatible Bento mesh body, with a top-notch HUD, you also get a Bento mesh head, plus pretty much everything else you need to get started—skins, eyes, hair, a starter wardrobe, even an AO to control the eyes, head, and hands! All you need to add is a body AO and you’re all set!
Let’s draw up a side-by-side comparison chart, showing you what you get for your money: column A is the Kalhene Anya version 3.0 head and body, and Column B is the Maitreya Lara version 5.3 mesh body with a Catwa brand of Bento mesh head (the most popular combination):
|Kalhene Anya 3.0||Maitreya Lara 5.3|
|Base Cost of Mesh Body||L$1,695||L$2,750|
|Petite Breast Option||Included||L$599 extra|
|Flat Chest Option||Included||L$499 extra|
|Bento Hands and Nails||Included; Fingernails come in 36 colours and patterns, and 3 styles||Included; Fingernails come in 19 colours and 5 styles|
|Mesh Feet||3 feet heights controlled by HUD (flat, medium, and high)||5 feet heights controlled by HUD (flat, kitten, medium, high, and point)|
|Bento Mesh Head||Included||Not Included (Catwa heads cost L$5,000)|
|Starter Hairstyle||Included (2 styles)||Not Included|
|Starter Skin||Included (5 skin tones in regular and flat-chested versions)||Included (22 skin tones)|
|Starter Wardrobe||Bikini (12 colours), Dress (8 colours), Shirt (4 colours), Leggings (4 colours), Flat Shoes (5 colours, 2 styles), High Shoes (5 colours, 3 styles). Apparel comes in versions to fit both regular and flat-chested versions.||Bra and Panties by Erratic (9 colours) and Zaara (black)|
|TOTAL COST||L$1,695||L$8,848 (not including cost of hair and a starter wardrobe)|
Also, because the included skin tones that come the Maitreya Lara body and your choice of Catwa head will not match, you will also have to shell out for skin appliers from your favourite skin store (or a Bakes on Mesh skin, since both Maitreya and Catwa now support BoM). You could easily spend well over L$10,000 before you’re done with the Maitreya/Catwa combination, whereas you could take that extra money and put it towards apparel, footwear, hairstyles, and Bakes on Mesh skins, cosmetics and tattoos if you opt for the Kalhene Anya mesh body.
Here’s a look at the HUD that comes with version 3.0 of the Anya body. Note that unlike earlier versions, there are now three feet heights, controllable by the HUD (instead of separate mesh bodies): flat feet, mid-height feet, and high heel feet.
There’s a pretty complete set of alpha selections on the HUD, which compares quite favourably with those of the major mesh body brands, and of course you can also use the alphas that come with the clothing you buy. If you do need a set of alphas to use with clothing that does not come with them, you can pick up a free set from Little Black Dress at this SLURL (just click on the bag on the floor).
The separate clothing HUD allows you to change the colour and style of the included hairstyle (bangs/no bangs), as well as all of the included starter wardrobe items, including the metals and gemstones on the included set of rings, the ability to show or hide the rings on each finger, and the colour and style of two kinds of shoes, flat and high (including the flats shown here; other options include sandals and pumps). Black and white pantyhose and tights (in all three feet heights and four different transparency levels) are included in the package, too.
Here’s a look at a completely styled version of the Anya mesh avatar, showing you where on the body and clothing HUDs I made selections:
As you can see, you can create and style a complete avatar look using only the elements in the Anya package! However, I also wanted to show you how this body would look with a different head and skin (the Anya head and body are separate attachments, and of course you can mix and match them with other BoM-compatible heads and bodies as you wish).
This avatar is wearing:
- Mesh Head: Strong Face gift Bento mesh head from The Genus Project (free group gift)
- Mesh Body: Anya version 3.0 from Kalhene (L$1,695; Kalhene has a a small store located opposite the N-Core Design footwear store (here’s the SLURL)
- Skin: Brielle by Amara Beauty (a former free group gift; group is free to join)
- Hair: Beyoncé hair by enVOGUE (a L$1 gift from a previous year’s Hair Fair)
- Gown: Azahara ballgown in red by Scandalize (which I picked up using the recent group gift of L$400 store credit; the Scandalize group costs L$100 to join, but if you hurry, you can join for free and pick up a second L$400 store credit offer! I believe today is the final day you can join the Scandalize group for free.)
- Jewelry: I pulled this old set from my inventory; they came from a store that has long since left the grid!
TOTAL COST OF THIS AVATAR LOOK: L$1,696 (L$1,695 for the Kalhene Anya mesh body, and L$1 for the hair)