Well, Catwa has officially entered the thick of the battle of what in what I used to call the Bento Head Wars, but which I am now officially dubbing The Great Bento War of 2020. Never can I remember a time in Second Life when so many great Bento mesh heads and bodies are being made available for free or next to free!
Catwa has just released a free group gift of a Bento mesh head, called Freya! Please note that despite the name, this Bento mesh head is intended to be unisex, usable for all genders of avatars. Like all Bento mesh heads, you should be able to use the sliders to get as masculine or feminine (or non-binary gendered) a look as you desire.
To pick up this group gift, you must join either the Catwa store group (^;^CaTwA^;^) or the CATWA HEAD Friends group. Both groups are free to join.
To pick up your free group gift, you then must teleport over to the Catwa store, and click on the black circle with the name of the corresponding group:
Once you unpack it, here is what you receive:
The Freya head comes with two recommended starter shapes (“boy” male, or female) an eyebrow shaper, some talking animations, a face light, and three HUDs: a master HUD, an animations HUD, and an eyes HUD (the package comes with rigged mesh eyes).
The “BOM Skin A Makeup Alpha Pack”, when unpacked, contains a complete set of alphas in various combinations (head, eyes, body, full avatar), plus a huge set of Bakes-on-Mesh blush, brows, eyeliner, freckles, hairbases, lipstick, and neck and ear tattoos. The folder includes a complete set of Bakes-on-Mesh skins from TheSkinnery (in a range of eleven skin tones, with and without eyebrows) and a couple of skins from Deetalez (again, with and without brows).
Note that there are no male skins included in this package; if you want a male look, you’ll have to go do a little shopping around! However, if you want a female avatar, you should be able to use these included skins with any Bakes-on-Mesh compatible mesh body (such as the still-available dollarbie Classic body from Meshbody) to get a good look without having to buy anything else!
The “HD Lips Pack Freya” package includes high-definition lips and a lips HUD.
Here is what the Freya head looks like straight out of the box, with the included default female body shape and eyebrow shaper, default skin and eyes:
After applying my favourite Daria skin applier for Catwa heads from TheSkinnery, and adding the HUDs, here’s what we’ve got:
The HUDs on the Freya are the full-blown versions you would expect to find on the full-price Catwa heads. The eyes HUD gives you twelve different colours (here, I picked one of the brown ones). The Catwa HUDs are quite complicated, with many features, and I would strongly urge anybody who is new to them to read through the comprehensive user documentation available on their official Catwa website. There’s even a “crash course” video on Catwa Bento mesh heads by former mesh body über-blogger Strawberry Singh, now better known as Strawberry Linden since she got hired by Linden Lab!
According to the group notice that was sent out, this is a limited-time offer, so I would try to get down to the Catwa store as soon as possible! Here are the SLURLs provided in the original group notice:
- Catwa Clip sim (BUT PLEASE SEE THE IMPORTANT UPDATE BELOW)
- CATWA Store sim (BUT PLEASE SEE THE IMPORTANT UPDATE BELOW)
As you might expect, the Catwa sims are absolutely jam-packed with avatars picking up the Freya head, so I would advise you to either wait a while for the crowds to die down a bit, or use a tool like the handy free Teleport Hammer to fight your way in. (Also remember that Premium accounts get priority access to sims that are full.) Good luck!
P.S. I forgot to mention that, if you are looking for some free skin appliers to use with the Freya head, there are currently generous group gifts available at both Amara Beauty and at Essences for skin appliers for Catwa Bento mesh heads. Happy freebie shopping!
IMPORTANT UPDATE May 4th, 2020: Due to extremely high demand, the Catwa store has sent out the following announcement:
CATWA GIFT UNISEX HEAD Freya
[LIMITED OFFER 3rd to 24th MAY 2020]
The gift is is NO LONGER at CATWA mainstore!
Activate any of the CATWA groups before going.
Detach meshes so you can rez quicker.
Please give chance to other by leaving the sim after getting the gift.
Also, I spent some time playing around with the Freya head and the dollarbie Classic mesh body from Meshbody. I found that, once I was able to match the included skin tones between the Catwa Freya head and the Classic mesh body as best I could, I was able to use the included neckfades in the Classic Meshbody package to achieve some pleasing results without any noticeable neck seam (and there are clear, step-by-step instructions on how to apply the Classic neckfades to Catwa heads).
She is looking fabulous at Frank’s Jazz Club tonight! This avatar is wearing:
Mesh Head: Freya Bento mesh head by Catwa (free group gift; group is free to join)
Lipstick: HD Lips Pack Freya (included in the Catwa Freya head package)
Mesh Body: Classic mesh body by Meshbody (dollarbie group gift; group is free to join; more information here)
Hair: Gigi hair by Yomi (free group gift; group is free to join)
Dress: Kay dress in blue and gold by Tiffany Designs (free gift at The Free Dove; you must join The Free Dove group for free to pick up gifts there)
Shoes: Scarlett shoes in gold by Nala Design (free gift at the excellent freebie store at Ajuda SL Brasil; the shoes are meant for Slink feet and I had to adjust them a bit to fit the Classic feet on this avatar, but they worked)
Animation Override: Lessie AO by GoldSquare (free group gift; group is free to join). The ankle lock, an essential add-on, is a free gift from Baby Monkey (just grab the blue bag at the reception desk).
TOTAL COST FOR THIS AVATAR: Only L$1! (for the Classic Meshbody)
UPDATE May 6th, 2020: I have been tinkering around with the Freya gift head over the past couple of days, and I must say that I am impressed at just how versatile this head is! Here’s a couple of completely different looks I put together.
This princess look consists of the Freya head paired with a Maitreya Lara body, using the starter female eyebrow shaper and female shape that came with the Freya package, and the Madelyn skin applier in olive from Amara Beauty (a free gift!):
And this completely androgynous drag queen look uses the Freya head with the Altamura Romeo mesh body, with the high-definition Freya lips and some makeup from Dotty’s Secret! The male eyebrow shaper and male shape for the Freya head were a free, full-perms gift from the NoYourOtherLeft gift pickup spot listed above (just look for a large box opposite the row of kiosks).
And finally, here is a male avatar I created using the free Freya head with the dollarbie Classic male body from Meshbody. I used the same male eyebrow shaper and male shape for the Freya head from NoYourOtherLeft as my starting point, only making the jaw a little more square, and using one of the Bakes on Mesh male skins from Digital Nude Art (DNA) that I picked up here (a store which, unfortunately, appears to have now closed):
So, as you can see, you can pretty much take this free gift head and go in any creative direction you want with it! Be sure to pick up the Freya gift head before this offer expires in May 24th, 2020. In addition to the three pickup spots I listed above, you can now also buy the Freya gift head, for free, from the SL Marketplace!