Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: the Free Leah Female Bento Mesh Head by Kalhene

Have you joined the RyanSchultz.com Steals, Deals & Freebies group yet? I will be posting EVEN MORE news and tips on finding fabulous freebies and bargains in Second Life than I post here on the blog! More information on this brand new SL group here.


I have a lot of new people now following me on Twitter, and visiting my blog. If you are new to my blog, welcome! In a blog which I originally began a little over four years ago, covering virtual reality in general and social VR platforms in particular, many of my newer readers are no doubt puzzled and/or bemused by my regular blogposts about Second Life, which at the ripe old age of 18 is seen by many outsiders as quaint, outdated technology. You might be asking yourself: Why do I bother with SL, when there are so many newer platforms out there?

It’s because I still see Second Life as the perfect, mature, fully-evolved model of a successful metaverse, which many newer platforms would be wise to study, learn from, and emulate. I often joke that I got my Ph.D. in Virtual Worlds from the University of Second Life, and one of the lessons I learned is this: that people are willing to invest considerable amounts of time, energy and money in avatar customization! There’s a reason why SL has a marketplace with 2 billion user-generated assets to date, and still boasts an annual GDP of US$600 million! Many content creators earn a not insignificant amount of income by creating and selling mesh avatar heads and bodies, clothing and footwear, hair, makeup, and nail polish, etc.

One of those Second Life content creators is Kalhene, whom I have written about often before on this blog (here’s a link to all my blogposts about Kalhene). If you join the Kalhene store group for free, you can now pick up a lovely female Bento mesh head called Leah for FREE! Just teleport here, join the Kalhene group, and slap this sign to the right of the Kalhene Erika store entrance:

While the sign says the Leah mesh head is for the Kalhene Erika mesh body, you can use it with any Bakes on Mesh (BoM) body; in the following pictures I am pairing it with the Altamura Juliet mesh body (a Valentine’s Day group gift from a couple of years ago; this body requires a L$99 Omega system kit for Altamura bodies, plus a BoM relay which you can pick up for free from the Altamura store, in order to wear BoM skin).

Here’s what the head looks like with the included eyebrow and body shapes, without any adjustments to the head and body sliders, using the Sunkissed Bakes on Mesh skin included, one of four BoM skin tones in the package (Porcelain, Pale, Sunkissed, and Toffee). The system eyes are included as well, in four different colours. The HUD allows you to select from five different types of eyelashes, and 24 different colours of lipstick. There’s also BoM/system eyeliner, eyeshadow, and matte lips in the folder.

After making a few tweaks to the head and body sliders on the included shape, here is what the Leah head looks like:

Now, I don’t know how long this free group gift will be available, so I would encourage you to hurry down to the Kalhene Erika shopping mall sim and snap up this free Leah Bento mesh head before it’s gone! Here’s your taxi.

And, of course, I will be adding this latest freebie to my list of free and inexpensive mesh heads and bodies for female avatars, which I keep as up-to-date as possible as I find new products in my travels across the grid!

Happy freebie shopping!

UPDATED! Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: the Kalhene Analexa 4.1 and Erika 1.0 Female Mesh Bodies

I admit I have a soft spot for Kalhene, a Maitreya Lara-compatible mesh body at a lower price. Well, Kalhene has replaced their Anya female full-body (i.e. head and body) package and their Alexa transgender full-body package with a new, all-in-one Analexa body, version 4.1!

If you had purchased earlier versions of either the Anya or Alexa bodies, you can upgrade to Analexa 4.1 for free; just slap the Redelivery sign in the Kalhene store, located directly across from the N-Core footwear store.

For only L$2,495, you get a Bento, Bakes on Mesh body that is compatible with most apparel and footwear designed for Maitreya Lara, plus a lot of extra options which would normally cost you extra!

In addition to a transgender option (i.e. an optional penis with a HUD), the body comes with four different chest options (flat-chested, petite, normal, and large/implant breasts), a choice of two Bento heads, even hair and a nice starter wardrobe! In a previous blogpost, I did a detailed cost comparison between version 4.0 of the Anya body and a Maitreya Lara body/Catwa head combo, and now you get even more for your money with the Analexa 4.1 package.

Here’s what the head and body look like, wearing an outfit I picked up using a free QE Designs gift card at the SL18B Shop and Hop event, which ended yesterday. The Bakes on Mesh skin and eyes are included in the Analexa package.

In addition, Kalhene has released a brand new full-body package called Erika. This is a fuller-figured body that reminds me of the Belleza Freya, INTHIUM Kupra, and Katena bodies, where you can get a much curvier, juicier figure!

Here’s what Erika looks like, right out of the box, with the included skin and long hairstyle, and wearing one of the 10 included outfits (the sneakers are a freebie from VERSOV):

The Erika body comes with not one, not two, but three different Bento heads! Here’s a look at the “soft” head, with rounder features, which I quite like!

And here’s a look at the second, “hard” head, with sharper, more angular features:

There is also an Asian head with two shapes, which unfortunately I cannot show you because I was unable to find a suitable Bakes on Mesh skin for it. (By the way, skins designed for other brands of mesh heads might look a little weird on this head. Always demo before you buy!)

Once again, for L$2,495 you get a LOT for your money. The package includes many options which usually cost you extra in other bodies (e.g. pregnant belly). Let’s take a look at what comes in the Erika 1.0 package, comparing it with the INTHIUM Kupra body, the one I think it resembles the most:

Kalhene Erika 1.0INTHIUM Kupra
Base Cost of Mesh BodyL$2,495L$3,999
Included Body Shapes5: skinny, natural, curvy, chubby, and pregnant3: skinny, curvy, and “bimbo” (ugh!)
Breast Options5 shape options; optional HD nipples3 shape options; 5 types of 3D nipples
Bento Hands and Nails5 fingernail options; 16 colours nail polish5 fingernail and 4 toenail options; 32 colours nail polish
Mesh Feet3 heel heights controlled bu HUD: flat, mid, and high; the feet are Maitreya Lara compatible4 heel heights controlled by HUD: flat, mid, high, and tiptoe; the Kupra body comes with three options for feet, supporting footwear made for Kupra, Maitreya, or Slink feet
Bento Mesh Head3 heads included: soft, “hard”/more angular features, and AsianNot included (Catwa heads cost L$5,000 each)
Starter Skin and Eyes5 skin tones, 8 eye colours2 skin tones
Starter HairIncluded (works with all breast types)Not included
Starter Wardrobe10 complete outfits with footwear (see images below for examples)Sport shorts, top, bikini top, panties, and thong
Transgender Option (Penis)IncludedNot included
TOTAL COSTL$2,495 (including hair and a very generous starter wardrobe)L$8,999 for the Kupra/Catwa combo (not including the cost of hair and wardrobe)

Here’s a look at some of the ten complete outfits, with footwear, which are included in the wardrobe package (please click on each picture to see it in a larger size):

In other words, you can hit the ground running with the Kalhene Erika body at one-third the price of a Kupra/Catwa setup; all you have to do is add an animation override and you’re all set to hit the grid as a big, bold, beautiful woman!

Remember, you can mix and match, and use the Erika head and body separately with other heads and bodies you might already own (the body comes with Catwa and LeLutka options on the HUD to avoid neck seam issues for those heads). The body responds well to the head and body sliders, so you should be able to adjust the shape to suit your preferences.

In fact, the only drawback that I can find with the Kalhene Erika body is that (unlike the Analexa 4.1 body), it is not compatible with apparel designed for other mesh bodies (which is probably why the designer included a generous starter wardrobe with ten different outfits). Given that most avatar clothing designers are loath to rig for yet another body (most already do 6 or 7), it will be an uphill battle to coax creators to make clothing for this body! However, the feet on the Erika body are Maitreya Lara-compatible (although you will have problems with things like straps high on the ankle or calf).

Given the creator’s track record, you can expect frequent updates to both the Analexa 4.1 and Erika 1.0 bodies. Join the Kalhene store group for only L$25 and pick up some free group gifts, such as outfits and shapes, at the store (here’s the SLURL).

Happy bargain shopping!


UPDATE July 8th, 2021: I forgot to mention that a couple of well-known SL vloggers, Isabelle Cheren and Naria Panthar, have already put the new Kalhene Erika body through its paces. Watch one or both videos to get a better feel for the body, before you buy:

Isabelle Cheren’s review of the Erika body
Naria Panthar’s review of the Erika body

UPDATE July 10th, 2021: A commenter gave me more information about the Kupra bodies: three options for feet (Kupra, Maitreya, and Slink), plus details on the clothing that comes with the Kupra body, so I have updated my comparison chart accordingly. Thank you, Olé Olé!

Shots Fired! Further Dispatches from the Female Bento Mesh Body Wars: Maitreya Throws a 50% Off Cyber Week Sale

I got a tip early this morning that Maitreya was having a Cyber Week 50% Off sale which, of course, includes the perennially popular Maitreya Lara female mesh body:

The sale excludes gift cards, and is only at their mainstore. I popped into their store (SLURL) to check it out.

The Maitreya Lara female mesh body, which usually retails for L$2,750, is on sale until Dec. 6th for only L$1,375. The petite breast add-on, which usually sells for L$599, is only L$299. And the flat-chest add-on (which I believe is comparable to the popular V-Tech add-on) is selling for L$249, half of its regular L$499 price.

This is the first time in this blogger’s memory that Maitreya has ever had a sale. Of course, everybody and their dog designs for Maitreya Lara; they still have an estimated 70% of the female mesh body market, although I’m quite sure that they are seeing strong competition from, among others, the Meshbody Legacy female mesh body, which includes a package of deformers to enable you to wear most Maitreya Lara-designed clothing on it (Nodoka Hanamura recently reviewed the Legacy body here). I have noticed more and more designers are now creating clothing for the Meshbody Legacy body, including a few who used to be Maitreya-exclusive (like Belle Epoque).

And, of course, there have been other, cheaper Maitreya Lara-compatible mesh bodies which I have written about before on this blog, notably the LucyBody Atenea and the Kalhene Anya mesh bodies, which I have found fit most apparel designed for Maitreya Lara. Please note that, as of this writing, the Kalhene Anya Bento, Bakes on Mesh female body (which includes a head) is still on sale for only L$999 (45% off the regular price) at Kalhene’s Black Friday sale (here’s the SLURL to their store):

The Kalhene Black Friday sale was advertised as ending on Nov. 30th, so I don’t know if it has been extended, or for how long, so if you want that L$999 Kalhene Anya body, you’d better hurry down today! As I have written, you get more bang for your buck with the Kalhene Anya body than you would with Maitreya Lara. I have found in my testing that the Kalhene Anya mesh body is 99% compatible with apparel and footwear designed for Maitreya Lara. The only problem area I encountered with the Anya body was the wrist area on certain long-sleeved shirts and tops (see image, right).

Shots fired! The female Bento mesh body wars are starting to get interesting!

UPDATED: Version 4.0 of the Kalhene Anya and Alexa Bodies: A Great Second Life Bakes-on-Mesh Bento Head and Body Package Gets Even Better!

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 now at version 4.0 of the Anya body, which I have found to be nearly 100% compatible with apparel and footwear designed for Maitreya Lara mesh bodies!

Pay a visit to the Kalhene store (located opposite the N-Core shoe store), and for only L$1,795, you get not only a Maitreya-Lara-compatible Bento mesh body, with a top-notch HUD, but 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 4.0 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 4.0Maitreya Lara 5.3
Base Cost of Mesh BodyL$1,795L$2,750
Petite Breast OptionIncluded (all clothing in the package works with it) L$599 extra
Flat Chest OptionIncluded (all clothing in the package works with it) L$499 extra
Implant (Large) Breast OptionIncluded (all clothing in the package works with it)Not included (not sure what the extra cost would be!)
Bento Hands and Nails Included; Fingernails come in 36 colours and patterns, and 5 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 HeadIncludedNot Included (Catwa heads cost L$5,000)
Starter SkinIncluded (5 skin tones in regular and flat-chested versions)Included (22 skin tones)
Starter WardrobeBikini (12 colours), dress (8 colours), shirt (4 colours), leggings (4 colours), flat shoes (5 colours, 2 styles), high-heeled shoes (5 colours, 3 styles), plus black and white pantyhose/stockings and finger rings. All apparel fits flat. petite, regular, and implant breast versions of the Anya body.Bra and Panties by Erratic (9 colours) and Zaara (black)
TOTAL COSTL$1,795L$8,848 (not including the cost of a starter wardrobe)
Comparison Chart: Kalhene Anya versus Maitreya Lara with a Catwa head

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 when I purchased it, and L$1 for the hair; the rest was free!)


UPDATE March 31st, 2021: I wanted to report that Kalhene has now released version 4.0 of the Anya mesh body! If you bought an earlier version of the Anya body, you can get a redelivery at their in-world store here; just click the large REDELIVERY sign on the wall as shown here:

Among the new features in this latest release are:

  • a new mesh head (version 2), with a stronger jawline, more arched eyebrows and some soft changes on the nose and lips;
  • three new different breast positions via deformer animations in the HUD (which works for all breast sizes: petite, regular, and implants), to give a more natural look to the breasts;
  • a neck fix for LeLutka mesh heads; and
  • new body oil materials (for the mesh body Bakes on Mesh only).

I have now been using the Anya mesh body with dozens and dozens of outfits that were designed for the Maitreya Lara body, without any issues, except for two minor ones:

  1. sometimes, on only a few very long-sleeved shirts, there is a problem with the wrist and hand area, where the hand pokes through the sleeve; and
  2. with a few pairs of jeans or pants, the waist of the pants is a bit wider than the waist of the body (see image, right), a problem which does not occur on the Maitrey Lara mesh body.

However, these problems are so uncommon (I have encountered them only 4 or 5 times in well over a year of testing!), that I can recommend the Anya 3.0 mesh body without hesitation if you want a Maitreya Lara-compatible mesh body at a bargain price!

Here is the version 4.0 the Anya body paired with the recent dollarbie group gift of the Catwa HFPRO Queen Bento mesh head, along with a look at the new HUD:

A look at the version 4.0 Anya body HUD (the alpha HUD is separate)

Note that the alpha sections HUD seen in the version 3.0 pictures earlier in this blogpost is still available; it’s in the box marked “BOXED -Kalhene- ANYA Mesh Body V4.0 (BoM + Alpha HUD)” in the version 4.0 package, which must be unpacked separately (the alpha sections HUD looks identical to the one pictured above). Please also note that you must use the bodies in that particular unpacked folder with the alpha sections HUD! For some strange reason, the alpha HUD didn’t work with the bodies from the main folder.

So, wait are you waiting for? Get shopping! 😉