If there’s one thing Second Life™ does really well, it’s Halloween. This virtual world really rezzes to the occasion (see what I did there?) when it comes to this particular yearly season of dark yet colourful but also macabre festivity. You can definitely let your freak flag fly any time of the year in SL, but from late September to early November that flag flies with a fierceness to behold. One could go as far as to call it Halloween Pride. I’m personally kicking things of with a Halloween styling session for the NX-Nardcotix David mesh body.
I knew I had a skin by 7 Deadly S[k]ins hanging around somewhere in the rather well organised folders of my inventory that was due for an airing. It is a pale skin with a cracked marble effect and it gave me an idea to create a kind of mysterious angel-like / fairy creature. He could be good, he could be bad. Maybe he’s just something in between? Two dimensional characters are boring anyway.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that a rather old but interesting pair of trousers with a wrap by Gabriel, actually works quite well for David in the TMP size. Boots are built-in with these trousers, which saves you the hassle of trying to find a pair of boots that will work without clashing. We want complex characters but simplicity and ease when it comes to getting dressed, right? Of course I could have dolled up even more, with a necklace, some leather cuffs perhaps? Maybe some studs and rings and bling in the ears? I kept this look clean and simple on purpose. This angel doesn’t go for all that fancy shit, okay. And on that quasi testy note, I’ll leave you to it and I’m flying outa here.
Here’s another one of those introductions in which I try to explain the title of this particular series of posts. The brand we’re supposed to be calling Meshbody, used to be known as TMP (short for the The Mesh Project). Some people refer to them as Legacy, but that is the name of the new body they came out with after stringing people along for years with a “beta” version of their original mesh body, which now still is available under the name “Classic”. It’s safe to say there’s a certain level of frustration among the Second Life™ residents with this brand. But damn it, I love their products. More recently Meshbody expanded their range with the Athletic body and we’re taking another look at that today.
A special point of attention on the agenda today is the mesh head I am using with the Athletic mesh body. It’s a Lelutka mesh head from their new Evolution line-up, named Luka. You’ll get a nice neck seam with the combination of this head and body, meaning that you need to be looking quite closely at the neck to notice a seam at all. One could say it’s seemingly seamless or so it seems.
When it comes to finding clothes for the Athletic Meshbody, not much has been made specifically for it yet, but I have a hunch that quite a lot of what has been rigged for the Legacy Meshbody will work. The moto here and indeed for most things in SL is: demo everything.
For the first very casual outfit on the left we are using the Armani Mesh Croptank and Miguel Joggers both by Noche, perfect for a lazy Sunday or indeed any lazy day at home or a quick jog in the park.
In the middle
On the right our guy is looking very dapper look in the Deadwool Hart jacket and trousers and Oxford shoes. All of these are worn in the Belleza size and of course the alpha hud is being used to hide all parts of the body that were poking through the suit.
And with this lovely juxtaposition of casual and smart I’ll leave you for now. I’m sure if you have a look around at the various monthly menswear events and try things in the Legacy size, you’ll find something to wear.
The previous post was all about making the most of the Signature Gianni mesh head. For this post, I went back to the Signature Event and bought the brand new Lelutka Connor mesh head. The Lelutka mesh heads continue to be priced at L$3990 until further notice. They used to be L$5000, but were discounted as a good will gesture when we first all started locking ourselves in and throwing away the key in attempt to say NO to our little friend Covid19. So here I am, up in my tower and I’ve let my hair grow long, but never (EVER!) has any prince charming attempted to climb up it. Old hags on the other hand… Anyhoo, let’s take a look at this Connor head.
As with all the Lelutka mesh heads in their newest Evolution range, Connor is meant to be used with BOM skins. In theory you can use an applier for the skin, but then you won’t be able to apply any extras. So that means no hair base, no eye brows, no freckles, no nothin’. It all has to be part of the skin you are using if you do take the applier route. That might be the choice you make when you like an old skin that hasn’t been updated to BOM yet and it happens to have all of the aforementioned extras baked in. If it’s an omega applier, you will also need to have the Omega relay for Lelutka heads. Seriously though, get on the BOM wagon already!
I’ve used the same skin as in the previous post, the Signature Davis skin to be more precise. The eyebrows, freckles and beard all come with the head. You can actually use the Connor head on the Signature body straight out of the box. The skins that come with the head have been made to blend into the neck and the seam isn’t too awful, considering you don’t have to cough up any extra dough for a skin. Seriously though, you need to stop eating dough, it’s bad for you.
If you need more help with the Lelutka Evolution heads than the somewhat anemic tidbit I’m offering here, you can sashay away to Lelutka’s website, because there’s plenty of information to pig out on there.
While I was at the Signature Event (ends on September 21st) I grabbed myself a new top by Noir. What’s better than a nice form-fitting sleeveless top? One with a hilarious print that makes people laugh out loud and a sexy harness-like detail. Once the event has ended, the Hikaru Harness Shirt should appear at the Noir main store, but why wait, right? We’ve got to spread the joy NOW people!
And with that it’s time for me to “head” out of here… See what I did there? I said head out of here and the main topic of this blog post was a head… How do you mean it doesn’t become funnier when I explain it?
A little less than a month ago we took a look at Signature Geralt. You could say I had a dabble with him and the results were interesting and kinda cute. Now it is time to turn our attention to his older brother Gianni. There is a Signature Event running till September 21st, so this is the perfect time for it. You can even purchase the Gianni body at the reduced price of L$2750 until September 17th. Sadly there is no discount on the Signature head and you’ll be paying the full L$4000, which I find a tad bit overboard.
Of course you can pop pretty much any male mesh head on the Gianni body, but the point about this particular series within my blog is to show different looks with the Gianni mesh head. I think many people will agree that there are more sophisticated heads available, but as I said the other day: vive la difference! Some people will like the “quirkiness” of this head and others are just lazy shoppers and simply bought their head and body from the same place before they realised you can get a head elsewhere. Go figure! So if you’re quirky or lazy, I’m here to show you some options within your mostly self-imposed limits. This time it’s extra convenient for the aforementioned lazy asses, because the skin I’m using is also from Signature.
The Davis skin was launched at some fair probably about a century ago. I’d hate to turn this into a Covid19 rant, but between our little corona friend and the constant elevated state of drama caused by He Who Must Not Be Named (Voldetrump!), time for me has become an increasingly blurry concept. Anyhoo, this skin was made for the Signature body and Lelutka Skyler head, but it’s not doing too badly with the Signature Gianni head either. I might do a follow-up blog post with a Lelutka mesh head on the Gianni body, if I can muster the strength. The Davis skin is L$900 and for that you get a head and body skin in 5 skin tones, each coming in a very athletic version (what I am using) and a more average version (still fit as f*ck). The Gianni head needs a bit of tender love and care to make the best of it, but I find that a beard, strong eyebrows, nice eyes and replacement mesh ears go a long way. Then there’s all the tinkering with the shape of course. I’ll put the shape for this look in my Marketplace store in case you like what you’re seeing but you haven’t got the strength to try and recreate it.
As for the event, now that Signature is trying to create some traction for their female body, naturally the Signature Event has become more mixed. It doesn’t mean that there would have been more male items if the female avatar stuff hadn’t been there though, it just means you need to do a bit more walking or panning your camera around. Personally I just didn’t feel like putting on any clothes today, so I’ll leave it at this for now.
Oh and before I forget, THE BLOGGIES have opened up their site for this year’s nominations. I’m not really all that bovvered, but the way the economy is going these days, it might be a good idea to try and build my brand anyway even if I’m not making any money of this blog right now. So if you think I should be nominated in any of the categories, go ahead and show me some love on The Bloggies nominations page.
It may seem like I can’t get enough of this Akeruka Advanced male mesh head and in case you were wondering if I’m being sponsored, I can assure you that I am not. Believe me. Believe me! *plays imaginary accordion*
I really like Catwa mesh heads and more than approve of the success Lelutka is having with their male mesh heads, but I have always had a soft spot for the less popular options. Leaving that soft spot out of the equation, the Akeruka Advanced mesh head is objectively more sophisticated than its predecessors. The fact that you can find some BOM skins that will work with it even though they have been made for Catwa mesh heads is a big plus.
This time I dug up the Vendetta Amir skin I got as a gift a little while ago. At least I think I got it as a gift, or was it a hunt? Or did I just buy it? It’s not as if I’m keeping careful track of my purchases. You haven’t lived Second Life™ if you never accidentally bought something you already owned. Anyhoo, this Amir skin is another great example of something that was made for Catwa heads but fits on the Akeruka Advanced head quite well.
For all the previous looks with this head I have been using the Belleza Jake mesh body, but for this one I switched to Legacy Meshbody and of course the head fits on it beautifully. What I like about the Vendetta body skin is that the abs are less defined compared to many other skins. I’m not saying this is better, I’m simply appreciation that it’s different. Vive la difference!
It was time to take another look at some of my older outfits and decide what needed to go and what could be used as the base for an update. Many of my old outfits are with the TMP Deluxe mesh body and head. Pretty as they are, that body and head are from the pre-bento era so there definitely is room for improvement there. As for t-shirt and jeans, obviously we all have those in are wardrobe, but there’s always space for new ones.
What I definitely appreciate is that there are more options for tucked-in shirts. Some, like for example the new Berry T-shirt by Noche, include a loose and tucked version, giving you the option to look very casual or a little sharper. Of course there’s no guarantee that this will work with any pair of jeans, but luckily Noche had enough common sense to make sure that the tucked in t-shirt works with their own Hayden Jeans. I’m sure there are other brands that do this and in some cases you’ll be able to tuck a shirt from one maker in the trousers of another. It takes some patience and plenty of demos to track those down, but what else are you going to do in SL?
That’s another look successfully updated, now I should be cold-hearted and give at least ten other outfits the axe.
As the title of this blog post suggests, this is my third look with the Akeruka Advanced male mesh head. I am happy to report that I found another BOM skin that wasn’t made for this head, but nevertheless is looking pretty good on it.
This time I’m using the Birth Dagger BOM skin for Catwa in skin tone #7. There is a slight lack of definition at the mouth corners, but there are no other noticeable flaws. That’s pretty amazing, considering this skin wasn’t made for this head at all. I wonder if the people at Catwa are going to have (another) bee in their precious bonnet over this. Don’t assume that every Birth skin that comes with a BOM version will look good on the Akeruka Advanced head. You always need to DEMO before you actually purchase. The Dagger skin comes with a hair base and beard options, so you won’t have to go look for those elsewhere.
Let’s be honest, the vast majority of the fashion items that look like someone stitched together a tiny flimsy bit of fabric and some dental floss, are being worn by women. However, women weren’t the first to wear thongs. Go back about 44,000 years and you’ll see thongs being worn by men in Africa. I imagine historians figured that out from carvings, because if they made those thongs in a fabric that has stood the test of time till know, they must have been chafing like hell. In Minoan and Mycean culture thongs pop up around 1570 BCE. I think it was on a Tuesday, that someone gave their arch nemesis a serious wedgie and then thought: “hey, there’s a product development idea in this…” Anyhoo, let’s return to the here and now and our virtual culture.
Noche has just released a new metallic version of their James Thong and it’s pleasantly shiny. Treat yourself to the fat pack and you get a whopping 27 colours which you can apply to the main fabric and trim individually. Oh just think of all the colour combinations! The thong is rigged for the Belleza Jake and Legacy mesh body and comes with three bulge sizes, cause some of us are a bit more modest than others. That’s all I’ve got to say about it. So go sparkle and be gay… Or straight. Maybe the missus would enjoy seeing you do the shimmy for once.
As mentioned in my previous post about the Akeruka Advanced male mesh head, I was going to take a look at some other skin options. I told you not to dilly dally, because I didn’t know how much longer the head will be on sale for just L$2000, so I thought I’d take my own advice there and quickly follow up with a second look.
Interestingly, some of the Stray Dog skins made for Catwa Heads seem to go quite well on the Akeruka Advanced mesh head. You need to get a skin that includes BOM layers of course, because you could be clicking that Catwa applier till the cows come home, the skin wouldn’t apply to the head and you’d just end up with a herd of cattle looking at you curiously. The lips on the Stray Dog Erwin skin I’m using are going slightly over the lip contours of the mesh head, but it’s not really obvious and apart from that I can’t immediately notice any other faults. I guess someone else will look at it closer and make a serious effort to find fault. You know the kind of people I’m talking about. The ones that evoke the c-word… Conservative.
On a whim I picked up the Akeruka Advanced mesh head and I like it. That’s all. Bye for now. what? What? WHAT? How do you mean, “I need to write stuff about it.” (mutters: greedy sods) “All right, all right, all right”, he says in his worst McConaughey impression.
Advanced is the newest range of mesh heads from Akeruka and with it they have taken another strong step towards sophistication. The Advanced mesh head is very suitable to be used with BOM layers, but you can still use Omega appliers or dedicated Akeruka appliers, if you can find them. Keep in mind that if you want to use Omega appliers you will need the Omega System Kit, which you can pick up at the Akeruka store. I wont be going to deeply into the whole BOM thing here, because there’s plenty of tutorial material about it available if you search for it. A basic rule is, if you you’re using BOM don’t where an alpha that hides the system head because it will turn your head bright red, though I suppose that could be a look. If you want to use an omega applier, you do put on that alpha layer like you did in the pre-BOM days. If you want to go back to BOM, you remove the alpha layer again and click the “BAKES ON MESH” button in the head’s hud (it’s on the first tab) and hey presto, your system skin will be baked on your mesh head. Slack Girl, who supports the Akeruka brand, has several tutorials for the Advanced heads on her YouTube channel. She works with the female head, but the principle is the same.
The Akeruka Advanced head comes with:
The neck seam on the combination of the Akeruka Advanced mesh head with the Belleza Jake mesh body is probably a little less polished than on the combination of the Lelutka Skyler head with the Legacy Meshbody. You will notice the neck seam from time to time depending on the windlight™ (I used the [Analu] AvatarOpt (Caliah) whiter windlight for these shots). The necksheath option that comes with the Belleza body only adds insult to your neck injury.
Upon publishing of this post, this head was priced at L$2000, which is a bloody good price. I think this eventually will go up, so if I have peaked your interest, don’t dilly dally too long and head over to Akeruka.
I think I’ll be playing with some more looks with this head in the days to come. Keep your eyes peeled.