On the first anniversary of the release of the Legacy male and female mesh bodies, The Ultimate Meshbody creators (formerly known as The Mesh Project or TMP) posted the following message to their website:
We’re nearing the first anniversary of the official Meshbody system, we can’t thank all of you enough for your kind support, and for helping to bring it to life. It all started many years ago when a few of us helped design one of the first bodies on the grid as a contribution to the original mesh project when we were just beginning to learn and explore mesh. And though we’ve branched off on our own since then, the road has been a continuous learning experience. We’re grateful to be here, celebrating a year of being able to finally share our creations with you in the way we originally wanted to, and we’re extremely grateful to be able to do so thanks to your support.
As a thank you, we’re pledging to give our Original Classic Meshbody for men and women to the entire grid, free. They remain our personal favorites, perhaps sentimentally, and we hope they will bring a little happiness, joy, and inspiration to the grid! Many designers are coming out with brand new content for them as well!
Just join The Shops! group for free (just cut and paste the group link from the Meshbody website into the chat box of your SL client to join the group), and check the group notices for one called New sim online! In it will be an attachment SLURL that will take you directly to the location on the sim where you can click on either Men or Women to be taken to the right place to pick up your free Classic mesh body. Please note that this is the older, original Classic mesh body (formerly known as the TMP mesh body), not the new Legacy mesh body, which is still full-price.
Once you have made your selection, you have your choice of Classic body: the Free Edition, and the Creative Edition (which includes the Advanced Mesh Editor). Both cost one Linden dollar to purchase. The Creative edition appears to be a limited-time-only freebie, while the Free Edition looks like it will be available for free going forward. (Then again, this company has been well known for changing things around unexpectedly in the past, so don’t expect anything to be cast in stone.)
I did have one male alt who had the freebie version of the original TMP Classic body, so I dropped by to pick up the Creative Edition of the Classic body as an update. One nice new feature is that it now supports Bento hands. Here’s what he looks like (I paired the body with the Aron Bento mesh head, a past group gift from Akeruka):
This has always been one of my favourite male mesh bodies, so having an opportunity to get the upgrade for to it for only one Linden dollar is a bonus. Any clothing made for The Mesh Project (TMP) bodies should fit it well, although you may have to use the alpha sections on the included HUD to get clothing designed for other brands of mesh bodies to fit. You also have quite a wide range of built-in skin tones to choose from, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding one that matches your mesh head. (A reminder that these bodies do not support the Omega system, so you won’t be able to use Omega skin, tattoo, or makeup appliers on these bodies.)
As you might expect, the sim is absolutely jam-packed with avatars picking up free bodies, so I would advise you wait a while, or use a tool like the handy free Teleport Hammer to fight your way in. Good luck!
UPDATE 3:44 a.m.: Well, the vendors of the female version of the Classic body seem to be overloaded at the moment, and don’t appear to be working at all. As for the men’s mesh body I described up top, for the women’s body there are both the Free Edition (which appears to be a permanent freebie), and the Creative Edition with an Advanced Material Editor (which appears to be a limited-time freebie). As with the men’s body, the update includes Bento hands and a wide variety of skin tones:
This sort of glitch is to be expected whenever a brand initiates such a big giveaway, so my best advice is to come back later, once things have been fixed. Right now there are just a lot of really frustrated avatars clicking away on the vendors, to no avail.
UPDATE 12:16 p.m.: O.K., they fixed the vendors, and I was finally able to purchase both the Free Edition and the Creative Edition of the Classic women’s mesh body. This avatar originally owned the then-free Classic body, which was free only for a short period of time, and then The Mesh Project suddenly began charging L$500 for it again, but made all the clothing for it free from The Shops!, a truly horrible point-and-click HUD-based shopping experience. (Here’s an older blogpost outlining the ordeal. There’s a reason that The Mesh Project was not that popular.)
Here is what that avatar looks like now, with the updated Classic female mesh body (note that she is wearing a choker to hide the slight mismatch between this body and her head, the Lulu Bento head by Akeruka, a former group gift):
Compared to the previous freebie version, there are some very welcome additions to this updated Classic body: a wider variety of skin tones, Bento hands with five different nail styles, and five different foot heights: flat, kitten heel, medium heel, high heel, and what can only be described as Ouch! heels 😉
So, what’s not to like? Three things about this dollarbie Classic mesh body may make you want to reconsider before you buy:
- These bodies do not have any Omega support, so you will not be able to use any Omega skin, makeup, tattoo or clothing appliers. This is a deal-breaker for many.
- Even though there are a wide variety of skin tones included in the HUD, it is unlikely that you will get an exact match to your mesh head. As far as I know, there are no mesh heads appliers that come in the matching Meshbody skin tones, and (as I mentioned in point one) there are no Omega appliers, so getting a match at your neck line will be a process of trial and error. Both versions of the Classic bodies do include a box of neck fades, and the Creative Edition package does include an Advanced Mesh Editor (which I have not tried). Your mileage may vary.
- While there are stores on the grid which still sell clothing for the Classic mesh body (look for The Mesh Project logo on the vendor before you buy), the fact remains that there is much better clothing support for the “Big Six” mesh body brands: Maitreya Lara, Belleza Freya/Isis/Venus, and Slink Physique/Hourglass. Also note that clothing created for the new Legacy mesh body is not designed for the Classic mesh body, and may not fit very well. Again, your mileage may vary.
However, for the two alts I own that had already picked up the older version of the TMP Classic body when it was free, and then later picked up all the clothing for it from The Shops! when they were free, this upgrade is a no-brainer. Otherwise, if you can live with the inevitable neck seam problems and lack of Omega support, these are beautiful, well-designed male and female mesh bodies and well worth your Linden dollar.
I don’t know how long the Creative Edition of the Classic mesh body will be available as a dollarbie, so don’t wait too long to pick these up.
UPDATE 2:25 p.m.: One of my regular readers, Brinlea, left me the following comment:
This body takes Bakes on Mesh, and the current Akeruka gift head comes with a box of Bakes on Mesh system skins that will work. Voila, no neck seam.
Thanks, Brinlea! I had somehow overlooked the fact that this updated Classic mesh body supports Bakes on Mesh (there’s a button on the HUD under Settings to enable it, see image on the right). In fact, here is exactly that combination, pairing the Akeruka Limited Bakes on Mesh head and included skin tone #5 with the Meshbody Bakes-on-Mesh enabled Classic body:
Looking good! And, as Brinlea pointed out, there’s no neck seam!
And, of course, the Second Life vloggers are already all over this! Here are just three YouTube videos explaining how this mesh body works:
UPDATE April 18th, 2020: I’ve had a chat with someone who does customer service work for Meshbody, and I have a few important updates to share.
First, The Mesh Project is shutting down its original shopping region for purchases and redeliveries tomorrow, Sunday, April 19th, 2020. Moving forward, it will be the Meshbody.
However, I dropped by The Free Dove to outfit an alt, and all the product vendors refer to “The Mesh Project”—and that is not going to change anytime soon. Getting vendors to change their signage from the old name to the new one is not going to happen, so please do keep that in mind as you search for clothing to fit your free Classic mesh body.
Also, Meshbody has a new avatar queue system set up to get into the sim where they are giving away the free Classic mesh body, and have implemented a six-minute time limit for you to do your shopping quickly, and get out. They have asked people not to use tools like the Teleport Hammer to get into their sim. (I have been loading up alts all day to get into the sim, and I have noticed that it is, indeed, much easier and faster to get in than before.)
The Classic mesh body (the basic package, without the Advanced Material Editor) is going to be free “forever”, in the words of the person who reached out to me this evening. However, the Creative Edition of the Classic mesh body (with the Advanced Material Editor) is only going to be free until the end of April 2020, after which it will be priced at L$2,500.
So remember: The Mesh Project is dead (except for when you’re shopping for clothing and shoes for your new freebie Classic mesh body). Long live Meshbody! The more I play with it, the more I like this body.