Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: the L$1 Stacy Mesh Body by Rose & Gothica

PLEASE NOTE: My blog is still on indefinite hiatus; I have made a single exception for this blogpost. After this, I am returning to my self-imposed break from blogging.

It’s been brought to my attention that there is yet another dollarbie mesh female body on the SL Marketplace, put out by a company called Rose & Gothica, called Stacy. So I thought I would put Stacy through the paces on this sleepy Sunday morning, just to see how well she works out.

One of the images used to advertise the Stacy body on the SL Marketplace

The package you receive when you purchase Stacy for L$1 is a bit bewildering. In the main folder is everything you would need to set up your avatar—except the body! And there appears to be a duplicate, non-Bakes-on-Mesh version of this body in the folder marked Update 2.0. And there’s a Bakes on Mesh version of the Stacy body in the Bakes on Mesh Version folder! It’s all rather confusing indeed. (I did try the skin fixes in the Update – Skin Fix folder, but they did not appear to have any effect whatsoever.)

Here is what the Stacy body looks like, straight out of the box, using a system head and the included skin and shape with zero adjustments to the sliders, along with the alpha sections HUD:

Stacy comes with the shoes you see here, plus two rather revealing dresses, two different hairstyles with HUDs, some underwear, and a separate clothing layer with a HUD to control it.

The Stacy body also comes with a Bakes on Mesh head in the BOM Mesh Head folder, but it’s nothing to write home about, and it comes with a strange built-in alpha which I assume is supposed to be covered by your hair! I would strongly recommend that you find yourself another head to use with this body (notice the neck seam as well):

The Bakes on Mesh head included in the Stacy package is nothing to write home about (I would suggest using another head with this body).

I decided to try out the Bakes on Mesh version of Stacy with a few skin tones (maple and fudge) of the Elvira skin which I picked up for free last year at 7 Deadly S[k]ins, and pairing it with the recent group gift of the CATWA HDPRO Queen Bento mesh head, with rather satisfactory results (remember that you do have to remove the head and body alphas, but add an eye alpha, when switching from the non-BoM to the BoM versions of Stacy!).

Most clothing designed for Maitreya Lara (such as this set of lingerie) appears to fit the Stacy body well.
This pink dress is one of two skimpy dresses that come with the Stacy body
The Stacy body paired with the CATWA HDPRO Queen head, wearing the fudge skin tone of the Elvira skin from 7 Deadly S[k]ins

One drawback is the long nails, which come in only one nail colour (there are tintable tattoo layers for the shorter finger and toe nails). One problem I noticed is the slight seam at the wrists, which you can see here with the default skin:

There’s also a slight ankle seam, which is more noticeable with some lighter Bakes on Mesh skins than on the fudge tone of the Elvira skin shown below:

So, what do I think overall? I think this is a somewhat confusing body, with a lack of documentation, that you will need to spend some time puzzling out and testing various options before you obtain a pleasing result. But you certainly can’t beat the price: one measly little Linden dollar! (Personally, the wrist and ankle seams are the deal-breaker for me.)

I will add Stacy to my ever-growing list of free and inexpensive mesh heads and bodies for female avatars. Happy freebie shopping!

Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: The L$1 Neo Male Mesh Body by Meta

PLEASE NOTE: My blog is still on indefinite hiatus; I have made a single exception for this blogpost. After this, I will be going back on my self-imposed break from blogging.

I wanted to break my hiatus from the blog to announce that I have discovered a very nice dollarbie male mesh head and body package called Neo, from a company called Meta! Here is the link to the Second Life Marketplace listing, which says:

This package will provide you with everything needed to set up your mesh avatar base to build on, which includes a Fitted mesh body with Bento rigged hands and a fully Bento rigged mesh head! The package also includes an Alpha HUD to hide parts of the body to make it easier to wear clothes on.

This product is our gift to the community and is meant for those new users as well as those who want to get [the] hang of mesh avatars!! ENJOY!!

Here is what the Neo male mesh body looks like, right out of the box, with only a minor adjustment to the eyes, and with the included underwear and body shape. It’s actually a very nice head and body, especially for only one Linden dollar!

Here’s what the Neo male mesh body looks like with some hair and clothing; the outfit is from the free Casual Male Starter Pack capsule wardrobe from No Shot, and comes from the Freebie Megastore on the London City sim as shown here:

I found during my testing that clothing and shoes designed for the Signature Gianni mesh body seem to fit this particular body very well (you will need to use the alpha HUD, though):

Now, there are a few drawbacks to this body. For one, although it comes with a HUD with plentiful alpha selections, the Meta Neo body does not support skin appliers or Bakes on Mesh (there is a Bakes on Mesh version of this body for sale for L$999 on the SL Marketplace). You are stuck with the single skin tone for this body. Also, the mesh eyes shown here are included with the mesh head, not separate, and they only come in the light brown colour shown.

Happy freebie shopping! I will add the Meta Neo male body to my ever-expanding list of free and inexpensive mesh heads and bodies for male avatars.

Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: An Updated Review of Version 3 of the Free/Dollarbie Viva Female Mesh Body

Have you joined the 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.

Last year, I wrote about a free, Bakes on Mesh compatible, Bento female mesh head and body called Viva (here and here). There’s been a bit of chatter about this body lately, including a video review (see below), so I thought I would update my review of version 3 of the Viva mesh body.

There are two ways that you can get version 3 of the Viva female mesh body. You can purchase it for only L$1 on the SL Marketplace (which gives you a completely unpacked version in your inventory). Do not be dissuaded by the rather poor imaging used in the Marketplace listing…you can do a lot with this body! Alternatively, you can teleport to the Elegance & Style store in-world (exact SLURL), click the vendor panel for the Full version/version 3, select Deliver from the blue pop-up menu in your SL viewer, and get the body for free (although you will have to unpack several boxes).

Now, unlike other mesh bodies (such as the free Minou body I reviewed the day before yesterday, which you basically just wear and go, with zero options), there is a rather large learning curve associated with this body, and a somewhat overwhelming HUD with a great many options! In fact, I will say that this is one of the most complicated HUDs I have seen for any product! So my recommendation is that you find a quiet spot in Second Life, unpack everything (there are nine boxes/subfolders!), and read through all the documentation. There is a Read Me First notecard, which states:

I’ll keep this short. Let me pass on two important things . . .

1 . . . First, you’ll find a wonderful and easy-to-use “Quick Guide to Viva.” It’s on-line and has lots of illustrations. Look for this prim in the Viva Main Folder: “**Rez Me & Click Me for Viva Support.” Rez it and click it. It will take you right to the support page. (If you can’t rez where you are, you can also wear it and click it.)

If you do not use the above “rez-and-click” prim, here is the URL of on-line help that you can copy to your browser:

2 . . . The following information is covered by the above link, but if you don’t go there, here are some brief instructions:

(a) If you look in Viva’s Main Folder in your inventory, you’ll see a series of “*Sub Folders…” These are packages that haven’t been unpacked yet.

(b) To unpack, WEAR each of the *Sub Folder packages, and they will automatically unpack.

(c) You’ll end up with a series of Viva SubFolders in your inventory. They all start with “Viva:” which keeps them all together. Now, TAKE EACH and DRAG THEM into Viva’s main folder.

(d) Afterwards, if desired, you can delete all of the *Sub Folders…” You won’t lose anything. You’ll still have a copy of them in the original package.

As I said, it might be worth the L$1 to get a fully unpacked version from the SL Marketplace, with all the subfolders already in place in your inventory (remember that they will be located in the Received Items section).

To keep things simple to start, you can wear a fully-assembled version of the Viva mesh body from the main folder. Attach the Master HUD, click on the Bakes on Mesh tab, and enable Bakes on Mesh for this body as shown below:

Here’s what the default body looks like, paired with the recent free group gift of the Chelsea head by LOGO, with the Hope skin in dew by 7 Deadly S[k]ins (a gift from their Advent calendar), and using the shape included with the Chelsea head as my starting point.

What the Viva body looks like after enabling Bakes on Mesh

(Although the HUD says that the Bento hands would be automatically Bakes-on-Mesh enabled when I clicked ON next to Enable BoM for Body in the HUD, I found I had to double-click the green hand icon below the button, to get Bakes on Mesh to apply to the hands properly. Just a small bug.)

Now, I will be honest: I have a problem with the hands on the Viva body. Last year, I was able to get such beautiful-looking, graceful hands when I first tested it on an alt (see the proof here), but then I did something wrong, and no matter what I do, and no matter which avatar I try it on, I always get this as a result, and I nothing I do seems to fix it! I find the hands are rather misshapen, with these horrible, stubby-looking thumbs! If somebody can tell me what I am doing wrong, I would dearly love to know.

When I wear a Bento animation override for the hands, I also find the the middle sections of the fingers are rather strangely elongated, and the result is a bit unnatural looking to me. It looks like my avatar has arthritis! Then again, I usually set my hand size in the body sliders to somewhere between 25 and 40 for most mesh bodies, so you might want to keep it set at a low 13, which is what the default, included body shape has. Even so, I think that the hands are definitely a weak point on this mesh body.

The feet are quite nice, though, and there are certainly lots of options in the HUD to tint your fingernails and toenails! The feet come in three heights: flat, mid-height, and high, and I have found that shoes designed for Belleza feet seemed to fit best overall (again, you might have to adjust the foot size in the body sliders to get the best results).

One option which I have never seen before in a mesh body HUD is the ability to set an image as a pattern or texture on your fingernails and toenails. Note that I had to remove the pattern shown here, using the button on the HUD, before I could select a nail polish colour for the high-heeled version of the mesh feet. Another small bug.

Here is what my avatar looks like, with the LOGO Chelsea head, wearing the red dress included in the Viva package (which you can retint or retexture as you wish):

One of the definite strengths of this body is the wide variety of clothing layer options, which are built into the HUD and available under the Layers tab: tattoos, bra and panties, pantyhose, a sweater and blue jeans, even socks! All clothing layers are infinitely tintable using the HUD.

Now, there is also an optional Bento, Bakes on Mesh-compatible head included in the Viva package, located in the Modular System folder. Unfortunately, there is no included starter shape for this head, which made it very difficult to obtain the best possible look. I found that this head did not respond very well to the various sliders, and in particular, I had problems around the mouth and chin area with the various Bakes on Mesh skins I tried on it. Here is my best result, which I am still not quite happy with (I couldn’t remove the slight chin cleft, no matter what I did):

The included Bento, Bakes on Mesh Viva head (wearing the Hope skin in the dew skin tone from 7 Deadly S[k]ins, a recent Advent calendar gift)

For the price (free or L$1, depending on how you got it), this is a perfectly serviceable head, but you will probably find a more beautiful head elsewhere, that perhaps responds a bit better to the head and body sliders. I would suggest pairing the Viva mesh body with your choice of a brand-name Bento mesh head (including, of course, the recent gift heads from Catwa, Akeruka, LOGO, LeLutka…last year certainly had no shortage of free group gifts of female Bento mesh heads!).

Also, the Makeup Choices tab on the Viva HUD is currently empty, with a promise to include makeup options in a later version. But of course, you can use any existing Bakes on Mesh makeup with this head, so you shouldn’t have any problems there!

If you want to wear mesh clothing with this body (other than the included red dress, which is designed to fit this body perfectly), there is an extensive array of alpha sections on the HUD, although I wish there were some finer selections in certain areas, like the upper arms. You should be able to get most clothing designed for other, more popular brands of mesh bodies to fit fairly well on the Viva body.

So, in summary, the Viva mesh body is a good Bento, Bakes on Mesh female body with lots of options, a few quirks, and a few bugs, for a great price—free (if you get it in world) or L$1 (if you buy it on the SL Marketplace). It’s a great bargain! Here’s my final look, once again pairing the Viva body with the LOGO Chelsea head, and adding a few accessories to liven up that plain red dress:

The YouTube vlogger Novata Second Life recently posted a one-hour video about the Viva body, which you might find of interest, if for no other reason than to see how she and her friends have styled this body (this video switches back and forth between Spanish and English). Novata also remarks on how complicated the HUD is!

The Viva mesh body already appears on my ever-expanding list of free and inexpensive mesh heads and bodies for female avatars, but I will update it with a link to this review of version 3, which goes into a bit more detail.

Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: I Review the Free, Maitreya-Compatible Minou Female Mesh Body by Little Devil

Have you joined the 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.

Over the past year, I have received tips from various people about a free female mesh body called Minou, by a store called Little Devil, which was advertised as compatible with apparel and footwear designed for the nearly-ubiquitous Maitreya Lara mesh body.

There are two ways that you can pick up this female mesh body for free. The first way is to come early enough in the day to slap the Midnight Madness board located to the right of the entrance to the Little Devil store on the Villa Delacroix sim (here’s the exact SLURL; please note that Villa Delacroix is an adult-rated sim which hosts a BDSM club. although the area around the store seems pretty safe). The Midnight Madness board locks at 30, so get there early!

The second way is to invite a few friends and/or alts to try your luck at the Lucky Fortunes game, located immediately to the right of the Midnight Mania board outside the Little Devil store. If you and a second avatar are judged to be 100% compatible, both of you win a free Minou mesh body!

It was using this second method that I finally won a Minou mesh body! Here is what she looks like right out of the box, with the included shape and skin, with a system (non-mesh) head, and not changing any of the default head or body sliders:

Looking good! As advertised, clothing and footwear designed for Maitreya Lara bodies seem to fit this body fairly well. The black minidress I used in this picture is called Celin, from Seniha, which I bought using their free store credit offer not too long ago, and the Wales pumps were a group gift from the Essenz shoe store. The Lio hair was a free hunt prize from Analog Dog, and so my total cost for this particular avatar look is ZERO LINDEN DOLLARS (because I joined the Essenz group when they had a free group join period in the past).

The body comes in components, with the hands and feet as separate attachments. The detail on the hands is quite lovely, but these hands are not Bento, and you cannot change the colour or shape of the fingernails:

The detail on the feet is also quite good, but there is a slight ankle seam where the feet attach to the body. Also, the feet only come in one foot height, to fit Maitreya-Lara-compatible high-heeled shoes. You will not be able to wear flats on this body!

The package also includes the following complete outfit, a thoughtful added touch. (There’s also some free mesh hair included, but I did not use it for this picture.)

Below, I paired the Minou body with the recent free group gift of the LeLutka Lilly head, using one of the full-head skin tattoos in the Lilly package that matched the skin tone of the Minou body the closest, and hiding the resulting neck seam with a simple black choker (a past free group gift from West End):

This is actually an attractive mesh body for a price that can’t be beat: free! (In fact, this particular avatar look also cost me zero Linden dollars. That’s right, zip. Zilch. Nada.)

However, there are a few caveats. First, this body only comes in one skin tone as shown, and it does not support skin appliers or Bakes on Mesh skins. Second, there is no included HUD with alpha sections to erase any body parts which might poke through clothing, which means that you will have to be extremely careful what you choose to wear on the Minou body.

For example, these skintight Maitreya-Lara-compatible leggings from ViSion (a gift at the recent Winter Shop and Hop event) are unwearable, because there is no way to alpha out your legs underneath them:

You’ll probably have better luck with skimpy minidresses and other skin-baring outfits, however. The skin detail on the Minou body is excellent for a free body (although I haven’t included a picture of them here, I think that the breasts on this body are also very well done). I can see this body proving quite popular among the working girls of Second Life, the escorts and strippers toiling away for tips in the adult sims, who perhaps cannot afford a full-blown Maitreya Lara mesh body!

So, if you are absolutely, completely flat broke, but you still want a good-looking mesh avatar body that can wear some (but not all) Maitreya apparel and footwear, you might want to consider this as an option. I will add the Minou mesh body by Little Devil to my ever-expanding list of free and inexpensive mesh heads and bodies for female avatars.

Happy freebie shopping!