UPDATED! Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: The Free RuthTooRC3 and RothTooRC1 Mesh Bodies by Heavy Industries Now Support Bakes on Mesh

Please note that I am taking the rest of the summer off as a self-imposed vacation from the blog so I can focus on my other work, except for sponsored blogposts, and the occasional exception such as this blogpost. See you in September!


The RuthTooRC3 Bento, Bakes on Mesh-compatible mesh head and body

Another day, another free Bento, Bakes on Mesh-compatible avatar! This time it’s for female avatars: the RuthTooRC3 full-body (i.e. head and body) avatar. As usual, the head and body are separate components, so you should be able to mix and match with other BoM heads and bodies.

I had blogged about the free RuthTooRC3 mesh body before (here, about halfway down this very long blogpost), but I just found out yesterday that there is a new, Bakes on Mesh-compatible version! So a pretty good free mesh body just got even better. You can now use Bakes on Mesh skins and makeup with this head and body (the skin used in these pictures is the Elvira skin in the maple skin tone, an Advent gift from 7 Deadly S[k]ins from last December).

Here’s the exact SLURL of the Heavy Industries store, located in a retro 1950’s diner. Walk into the diner and and click both of the blue panels on the wall directly in front of you (the first one only includes flat mesh feet for some reason, but the second one includes both medium-height and high-heeled mesh feet as well):

While you’re there, click on the three red panels immediately to the left of the blue ones, and you can pick up three outfits that were designed to fit this body perfectly! (Please note that I did test various mesh clothing designed for Maitreya Lara on this particular body, and there are some fitting problems in the lower back and the rear end area on most garments.)

This body comes with a HUD to tint the fingernails and toenails, which are separate attachments. However, there is no HUD with alpha sections provided, so you will have to make use the alphas that come with the clothing you pick up. If you 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).

Happy freebie shopping! I will add this updated mesh body to my comprehensive list of free and inexpensive mesh heads and bodies for female avatars.

UPDATE 9:12 p.m.: I forgot to mention that at the same location, you can also pick up the latest edition of the free RothTooRC1 Bento, Bakes on Mesh-compatible male mesh head and body, which I had written about previously (at the very end of this rather long blogpost).

Here’s the panel in the Heavy Industries diner; make sure you click on the one that clearly says “Bakes on Mesh Compatible”, not the one to the right of it:

Now, there is good news and bad news about this particular male mesh body.

The good news is that the alphas included with clothing do finally work with this body (they didn’t the last time I tested it out, which made it of limited usefulness, since there is no included alpha sections HUD). However, the bad news is that you are still going to find that most male mesh clothing does not fit this particular mesh body very well at all, even with the alphas.

I tried everything, including standard-size and fitmesh clothing of various kinds on the RothTooRC1 body, and in every case (even on the large and extra-large standard sizes), there were fit problems across the back of the neck and shoulders and the front of the waist. Clothing created for popular male mesh bodies by Belleza, Signature, and Slink doesn’t work, either.

The only things which worked were when I alpha’ed out the entire body except the hands, as I did with the following tuxedo outfit from the men’s freebie store at the Helping Haven Gateway (and there were still problems at the wrists; the skin is a male Bakes on Mesh skin I picked up from a store called DNA, which is now unfortunately closed).

The fingernails and toenails are (as they were for the RuthTooRC3 body above) separate attachments, which you can tint using an included HUD. (You’ll need to remember to remove the toenails when you alpha out the feet, as I did below!)

Given the many problems I encountered trying to find clothing to fit this body, I really cannot recommend it over the many other free and inexpensive male mesh bodies (unless you want to rely exclusively on system layer/Bakes on Mesh clothing).

Advertisements

UPDATED! Gen Con Comes to Second Life July 30th to August 2nd, 2020: Pictures from the First Day of the Virtual Tabletop Gaming Conference (Plus a Visit to the Freebie Village at the Helping Haven Gateway)

Yes, hmmm… well, all my regular readers know by now just how bad I am at keeping my vows to take a self-imposed vacation from this blog... *sigh*… nevertheless, I still intend to largely step away from blogging for the entire month of August, except for sponsored blogposts, so I can focus on other work that I need to attend to. See you in September!

I am *SUPPOSED* to be on holidays from the blog, DAMMIT!!! Stop pulling me back!!!

However, this is a major event that warranted a proper write-up.

Gen Con is the largest tabletop gaming conference in North America, bringing together fans of traditional pen-and-paper, board, and card games, including role-playing games, miniatures war games, live action role-playing games, collectible card games, and strategy games. In 2019, the annual conference brought nearly 70,000 people to Indianapolis, the traditional home of the event.

However, this year, like so many other events, Gen Con was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. So the conference organizers decided to move Gen Con 2020 to a fully online version, including holding a number of events (including tabletop gameplay) taking place in the virtual world of Second Life!

According to the firm organizing the SL portion of Gen Con 2020, VRazeTheBar:

VRazeTheBar has partnered with Gen Con – the largest and longest running gaming convention in North America – to provide an awesome interactive social gaming experience built on Linden Lab’s Enterprise/Education version of Second Life, the world’s largest user-created virtual world of its kind enjoyed by millions of people around the globe. Be the first to join our proof of concept in a virtual world created by gamers for gamers.

Now because I am supposed to be on a self-imposed vacation from the blog (and apparently, I have been living under a rock, to boot), I did not even know that Gen Con was happening in Second Life until one of the organizers contacted me on Discord late last night. So I got up to speed in a hurry, and I decided to pay a visit on their opening day, and take a few pictures to share with you.


Gen Con 2020 is taking place in Second Life on four sims, which have been extensively designed with four levels each—there’s plenty of space, and lots to see and do!

The bottom level is an auditorium, where the short opening ceremony was held today. I was very kindly issued a media pass to roam around the event, so I came early and grabbed a seat next to Strawberry Linden, who was hard at work livestreaming the ceremony (I know it doesn’t look like she was busy in this picture, but trust me, she was!):

Strawberry Linden (left) and Ryan Schultz (a.k.a. Vanity Fair)

Patch Linden gave a short speech, the ceremonial Dungeons & Dragons die was rolled, and Gen Con was officially declared open!

The next level up from the auditorium is a surprisingly detailed virtual recreation of downtown Indianapolis, including the convention centre itself, and the food-truck-lined Georgia Street block party for which Gen Con is noted.

You can even pick up some free T-shirts!

This level also features a small Gen Con Museum, outlining the history of the convention since its start back in 1968:

Costumes are also a big part of Gen Con, so I do expect to see a lot of amazingly-outfitted avatars in my travels!

Yet another Gen Con 2020 level features medieval, renaissance, steampunk, fantasy, and futuristic game-playing regions, where attendees will meet up and play various table-top games within Second Life:

A table set up for a game of One Night Ultimate Werewolf
A table set up for “A Home for the Green” (Dungeons & Dragons 3.5)
Renaissance Road
Steampunk Junction
A tabletop game in progress in the medieval area (avatars dressed in 1970’s fashion notwithstanding)
I have no idea what this game is, but it looks rather ominous…

The topmost level features a post-apocalyptic urban scene, complete with roaming bands of hungry zombies! If you wish, you can even ride a fire-breathing dragon around the landscape (because why not?).

Strawberry Singh devoted a recent episode of Lab Gab to Gen Con 2020, interviewing the team of organizers behind the event. it turns out they pulled all this together in SL in just two months! That’s impressive!


Gen Con 2020 is free to attend, but you must first register for a (free) badge and then purchase (free) e-tickets for each of the events, including those being held in Second Life. Here is the Gen Con Online portal where you can register for a badge and select which sessions and events you wish to attend. This is presumably to avoid overbooking; many of the Gen Con sessions are already fully booked, but there are still spots available at daily Open Gaming Meet and Greet events taking place in Second Life as follows (remember, you still have to register!):

  • Thursday, July 30th, 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Savings Time (EDT)
  • Friday, July 31st, 8:00 p.m. to Midnight EDT
  • Saturday, August 1st, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. EDT
  • Sunday, August 2nd, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. EDT

There’s also a Saturday night dance on August 1st, running from 8:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. EDT, which you can also register for online. See you there!


Now sometimes, when conferences are held in Second Life, the organizers will attempt to make some free clothes, shoes, and hair available, to give conference attendees the opportunity to change out of their starter SL avatar looks and avoid that cookie-cutter “newbie” look.

However, in the case of Gen Con 2020, the conference organizers very sensibly decided to refer people to the Freebie Village at the Helping Haven Gateway instead. So, I dropped in for a quick visit, just to see what was new, and I was extremely pleased to see that there has been a recent, extensive update to both the men’s and women’s collections of free apparel. There are now many new, high-quality mesh outfits, plus various kinds of footwear and jewelry, plus skins, hair, AOs, etc.

There are even free mesh bodies: the freebie versions of the Tommy and Estephania full-body mesh avatars from Altamura, plus the free eBody Classic and Curvy bodies, and a couple of other free “Ruth” women’s mesh bodies, such as the Bento, Bakes on Mesh-compatible RuthTooRC3 (which I review here). There’s also a nice-looking non-Bento (static) female mesh head. In short, the Helping Haven Gateway’s Freebie Village now ranks among the best freebie stores on the grid, in my opinion.

Here Vanity Fair models a couple of fabulous retro freebies she picked up from the womenswear building at Helping Haven: a multicolour debutante dress with a gathered waist (which comes in a pack of 13 different patterns, Maitreya Lara size only), plus a fully-adjustable, flowered pink straw hat (which is also tintable; I made it a slightly lighter shade of pink to match the rest of my outfit):

(The vintage pink pearl jewelry is a truly ancient Dark Mouse freebie, dragged from the murky depths of Vanity’s messy inventory, and the shoes are the versatile Wales pumps, a fatpack of which is the current monthly group gift from Essenz—but time is running out, so don’t wait to get these! The Essenz group costs L$350 to join, and this wonderful group gift alone is worth that much.)

Happy freebie shopping! See you at Gen Con!

UPDATE July 31st, 2020: Inara Pey has written a blogpost about Gen Con here.

Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: Pick up 72 Free Clothing Fatpacks at the Scandalize Outlet Store for a Limited Time!

Please note that I am taking the rest of the summer off as a self-imposed vacation from the blog so I can focus on my other work, except for sponsored blogposts, and the occasional exception such as this post. See you in September!


Scandalize has always been one of the most generous stores on the Second Life grid in terms of free group gifts, with a group gift wall in-store just heaving with free clothing and footwear. It costs L$100 to join the Scandalize store group, but you get so much in return it really is a no-brainer (or watch and wait for times when they have a free group join, too; they usually do it two or three times per year).

Well, Scandalize recently set up an outlet store on their sim, and to kick it off with a bang, you can join a new, free group called Scandals SL Frees & News and scoop up no less than seventy-two full fatpacks of older Scandalize outfits, all for FREE! This is such an outstanding deal that I decided to break my self-imposed vacation from the blog to tell you about it.

Here’s the SLURL to the Scandalize Outlet store; when you arrive you will be prompted to join the new, free Scandals SL Free & News group (or you can just click on the panel as shown below. Once you have joined the group, just click on the Scandals tag in the corner of each clothing panel to pick up a complete fatpack (i.e. all colours and patterns, including ombre tones in some cases) of that particular outfit!

Most of the clothing comes in sizes to fit Maitreya Lara, Slink Physique and Hourglass, and Belleza Venus, Isis and Freya mesh bodies. Because many of these outfits show a fair bit of bare skin, they might not work well with other kinds of mesh bodes (such as the freebie or paid-for Altamura mesh bodies, particularly around the pelvic area).

However, there are now several free and inexpensive mesh bodies that are Maitreya Lara compatible. One of them is the Atenea mesh body from LucyBody, which is a free Lucky Board prize (more information is available here). Maitreya Lara clothing and Slink footwear fit this body very well, and for only L$197 you can pick up a Bakes on Mesh applier HUD to allow you to wear any Bakes on Mesh skin with it.

I have also written about a few other mesh bodies that claim to be Maitreya Lara compatible, in my constantly-updated list of free and inexpensive heads and bodies for female avatars. Check it out! You don’t need to spend a fortune to be able to wear Maitreya Lara-compatible clothing and have it look good!

Another option for a Maitreya Lara-compatible mesh body is the new Anya full-body (i.e. head and body) mesh avatar by Kalhene, which has recently opened up a small store opposite the N-Core Design footwear store (here’s the SLURL).

For only L$1,695 you get a beautiful, completely-adjustable Bento mesh head and body, with a detailed HUD, complete with a starter wardrobe of clothing and shoes, plus a set of lovely, realistic-looking Bakes on Mesh skins in a variety of skin tones! The Anya package even includes hair, plus an AO for the face, hands, and eyes! All you need to do is add your own animation override (for the body) and you’re all set.

Compare everything that you get in the Kalhene package with paying L$2,750 for the Maitreya Lara body, alone, after which you will also have to shell out for a pricey Bento head (Catwa heads are L$5,000 each), plus pay for skin appliers, etc. etc. You can easily see what a deal the Kalhene mesh body package is (even if you decide to just use the body, pairing it with a different Bakes on Mesh-compatible mesh head).

The Kalhene Anya mesh body

(Note that Kalhene is also selling Alexa, a flat-chested/transgender mesh avatar, which is compatible with Maitreya Lara with the V-tech flat chest add-on, for the same price, L$1,695.)

Now that we’ve discussed Maitreya Lara-compatible mesh bodies, let’s take a look at some of the clothes I picked up for free at the Scandalize outlet store! Here is the Axcid dress, which comes in two separate parts, the dress and the sleeves, in a complete fatpack of colours:

The Clae outfit consists of a cropped leather jacket with a belted miniskirt, which comes in a variety of colours and patterns (the jacket comes in a wide range of colours, including black):

The stunning Scarlett full-length ballgown comes in a complete fatpack of solid and ombre tones:

Finally, we have the sexy Kya romper, where the top, belt, and shorts can be configured via HUD to a wide variety of different colours and camouflage patterns!

I have heard that these 72 Scandalize clothing fatpacks are only going to be made available for a two-week period, so don’t delay! Hurry down and snap up these fabulous freebies before they’re gone!! Happy freebie shopping!

Taking a Summer Stroll in the Independent State of Caledon: Exploring One of Second Life’s Oldest Victorian Steampunk Communities

Please note that I am taking the rest of the summer off as a self-imposed vacation from the blog so I can focus on my other work, except for sponsored blogposts, and the occasional exception such as this post. See you in September!


I make no secret of the fact that one of the ways I cope with the isolation and social distancing imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, while working from home for my university library system, is to wander and explore the many different communities in Second Life (my preferred means of escape from the dumpster-fire year of 2020).

A couple of days ago, I had just picked up the latest group gift from Antaya, a lovely black lace Victorian umbrella (the group join fee is L$50), and so I decided to put it to immediate good use by going out for an invigorating stroll through Caledon! It’s truly the perfect accessory to protect the complexion of this aristocratic maiden, lest she acquire a tan which establishes her a member of the—gasp!—working classes. 😉

My Victorian avatar, Fidelity Constantine, at the Caledon Oxbridge University

Founded in 2006, the Independent State of Caledon is one of Second Life’s oldest and longest-running Victorian/neoVictorian/steampunk communities. According to the SL Fandom wiki:

Caledon is a small, windswept forested country at a temperate latitude. Wild creatures, country estate life, sights and sounds that were common well over 100 years ago are the hallmark of the land.

Technology is approximately that of the 19th Century, though some astonishing breakthroughs have provided for incredible wonders. Ground vehicles, airships, and even a device known as a ‘telehub’ are made possible through the power of exotic material properties and the wonders of Steam Technology.

If you are new to Caledon, a highly recommended place to start is the Caledon Oxbridge University (website; SLURL), which has a board listing all the things to see and do in this steampunk community:

I find it enjoyable and relaxing to stroll the many sims which make up the Independent State of Caledon. People’s homes range from tiny rustic shacks to large ornate mansions, and include fantastical tree houses, steampunk airships, and just about anything and everything in between! I always admire the creativity of the owners in designing and decorating their abodes.

Many of these homes proudly display the circular plaques which mark each year of their participation in the Caledon community, up to fourteen years in some cases!

Every so often, I will come across a Caledon resident and stop and have a chat:

Victorian dress is encouraged in Caledon, but if you have no suitable clothing in your wardrobe, simply load up the Abigail or Jasper starter steampunk avatars from SL’s own starter avatar collection:

You can also choose from a wide array of free clothing (all non-mesh, system layer and flexiprim clothing) available at Caledon Oxbridge University, available at this exact SLURL. Mix and match outfits, and you’ll blend in with the locals in no time!


Miss Fidelity Constantine is wearing:

Mesh Head and Body: Juliet by Altamura (a Valentine’s Day group gift in 2019)

Gown: Day Flower by Junbug (an ultrarare gacha item)

Parasol: Victorian lace umbrella (free group gift from Antaya; the group costs L$50 to join)

Hair: the Pulled Back Bun hair is already in your Second Life inventory! Just open your inventory, and scroll down to the very bottom of your inventory window to find the Library folder. It’s in Library / Accessories / Hair Design Options / Pulled Back Bun folder. It’s free, completely adjustable, tintable, and uncomplicated, and it fits well under hats and hoods, too!

Animation Override: the Ballroom gown AO from the Caledon Oxbridge University, which I picked up when it available was free for avatars aged under 30 days (the black lace parasol comes with its own high-priority hold animation)