PLEASE NOTE: For a current, up-to-date list of free and inexpensive options for male mesh avatar heads and bodies, please see this blogpost.
There are three options for male avatars who are looking for a free/inexpensive mesh head and body, all from Altamura:
- The two versions of the free Altamura Max avatars at the freebie stores at UniHispana Crea and Ajuda SL Brasil (see here for more details). Note that you cannot remove the head to replace it with another mesh head.
- The free Altamura Robert avatar from the Freebie Megastore at London City (see here for more details). One advantage of this body is that you can remove the head to use another mesh head with it (like the recent freebie mesh head from Akeruka).
- The free Altamura Tommy avatar at the Altamura mainstore (you do need to join the Altamura group for L$50 to get this freebie; see here for more details). Again, you cannot remove the head to replace it with another mesh head.
Well, EXMACHINA has just released version 4 of their full-body Davide male mesh avatar, and you can pick up a free demo version at their store. You do have to join the EXMACHINA group for free to use the vendor.
One drawback is that the included shape that comes with it is NO modify, which is a real pain in the ass. However, there are a couple of ways around this limitation. You can click on the Giorgio and Andrew skin and shape panels located on the wall to the right of the demo version vendor, and buy those for L$0 (you must be in the EXMACHINA group). While you cannot use the skin appliers with the free demo version of the EXMACHINA mesh body, you can use the modifiable shapes. Also, there is a L$10 Diego shape available on the SL Marketplace which you can use with this body, and you can modify it as you like. I bought the Diego shape and used it for the pictures below.
Here’s what my avatar looks like with the slightly adjusted Diego shape (I had to play around with the eyes, mouth, nose, torso muscles and arm length a bit):
The avatar comes with the mesh eyes you see here. It also comes in two versions: nude, or with the blue bathing suit you see here. It’s actually quite a nice-looking avatar! Please note that you cannot change the skin colour (remember, this is a demo, not the full version).
The hair is Minato by Argrace, a free group gift (the group is free to join). The AO I used is the Daily sLife free Bento male AO (available free from Tuty’s). The total cost of this avatar is FREE! You can’t beat that!
Another serious limitation with the free EXMACHINA body is that it does not come with alpha sections on the HUD (in fact, there’s no HUD at all!). So, basically, you’re going to have problems getting clothing and shoes to fit, unless they are designed for this body. Note that there are a few clothes for sale, designed to fit the EXMACHINA mesh body without the need for alphas, so you can try those. I did spend another L$250 on a muscle shirt and a pair of jeans, both of which fit this mesh body perfectly!
UPDATE Oct. 19th: I paid a second visit to the EXMACHINA store and discovered a few changes. The panel to get the freebie version of the Davide body is now at this SLURL, located in the Freebies section.
And the default skin tone is quite pale, as you can see (this is the slightly modified free Giorgio shape):
BUT, there are now two tanning chairs just outside the store, where you can “tan” your freebie avatar to any shade you desire! (Here’s the SLURL.) The longer you sit, the deeper the tan!
Here’s the same avatar, after using the tanning chair for about 15 minutes:
I tested it out, and it appears that the tan you get is permanent on the freebie Davide avatar, even if you sign out and sign in again. In other words, you can’t “untan” him. However, if you make a mistake and get too dark a tan for your liking, you can always pick up another freebie version of the avatar and start over.
The ability to pick your own skin tone sets the Davide mesh avatar body by EXMACHINA apart from the other freebie male mesh avatar bodies. It’s a great option if you just want a good-looking avatar for the beach, or you can dress him up in clothing sold at the same sim, designed for the Davide body.