Experimenting with Catwa and Meshbody Classic

Once upon a time a Catwa mesh head was the must have item when you wanted a sophisticated, versatile male mesh head, especially once the bento project was implemented in Second Life™. Bento took mesh heads from something one could only change by applying a different skin, to mesh heads we could shape and mold to our heart’s content using the shape editing sliders, just like we were used to with the system head but with much nicer results. I always found the Catwa mesh heads reacted particularly well to the sliders, compared to for example the Signature Gianni head. Let’s face it though, Catwa has dropped the ball. Judging by what I see when I hang out in SL or brows through photo streams in Flickr, Lelutka has taken over the lion share of the market. Not only are the Lelutka heads just as sophisticated, if not more, than the Catwa heads, there’s a wider range of heads and they’re about L$ 1000 les expensive. Catwa is stoically sticking to their L$ 5000 price ticket for their range of aging mesh heads and L$ 5900 for the one and only male HDPRO mesh head they have. But if you already have some Catwa heads in your inventory, it can be nice to occasionally revisited them, even if you have become a Lelutka fan boy.

Today I’m using Catwa Travis, a mesh head I purchased on the very rare occasion that Catwa had a sale on. There isn’t much logic in using a L$ 5000 mesh head on the free Classic body by Meshbody, but that’s what I’m doing today. Technically it will make no difference if you do this with the Classic or te Legacy body. None of the skin creators carry a skin for the Classic body these days, but you can use whatever skin they have for the Legacy body. Alternatively you can use one of the 36 skin tones that come with the Classic body and use the neck fader to achieve a less visible neck seam.

Here you’re seeing an example of the Travis head with a Stray Dog skin and the Classic body with its original skin (skintone #19). Annoyingly the skintones aren’t numbered in the hud that comes with this body. As you need to know this number to apply the correct neck fader, you will have to count the skintones yourself, from left to right and top to bottom, so you’ll know exactly which one you’re using. Once you’ve chosen a skin for your body, you can apply the corresponding neck tattoo on the Catwa head.

  • First you’ll need to unbox the neck faders that come with the Classic body if you haven’t done so yet. Then use one of the files that says “Apply To Head” in the filename.
  • Right click the desired file (in my case: [19] Classic Neckfade (m) (Apply To Head)) and click “Copy Asset UUID”.
  • In the Catwa HUD, find the tab for the neck tattoo, click on the ” Apply UUID” button, paste the UUID in the window that pops up, click ok and the neck tattoo will be applied.
  • Last you pick the matching neck fader in the the Classic body’s HUD. Thankfully here the colour swatches are numbered.

The result is… meh. It actually looks better on the back of the neck then the front, which is the opposite of most neck seam issues in SL. The shading of the throat just looks weird. It’s like a lackluster attempt at an adam’s apple. From a budget point of view it doesn’t make such a huge difference either. I guess, if you really love the Classic’s original body skin, this is the sacrifice you may want to make? Otherwise, why bother?

You’ll get a much better neck seam result using the body skin of the same creator where you got the skin for your Catwa head. Of course you’ll have to use the BOM version of any body skin you wish to use, as there are no applicators for the Classic body. As mentioned before, you can easily use skins that have been made for the Legacy body on the Classic body. The implementation of Bakes On Mesh in SL sure has opened up some possibilities when it comes to using skins.

The conclusion is that the older Catwa mesh heads are still perfectly serviceable, but while there still is a large back catalogue of skins available for theses heads, it seems like nobody has been creating any new skins for them. As for Meshbody’s Classic, well there’s no arguing with a fabulous freebie, is there? You’ll have to rummage around in outlets and clearing sections of stores and in the back of your wardrobe to find clothing that’s been rigged for the old TMP Deluxe body. Occasionally you may find something that includes a size especially for this body, but the support for isn’t great. Personally I still have a soft spot for this body, especially as it’s free. All we need now is a permanently free high quality mesh head and anyone can look fabulous, even if they have no money to spend in SL. I’ll leave you with that pipe dream and the credits.


  • Both
  • Redhead
    • Birth Blaze skin for Catwa + their body skin for Legacy
    • Exile Knox hair (includes a hairbase)
  • Brunette
    • Stray Dog Drake skin for Catwa + their body skin for Legacy
    • Stealthic Like Lust hair + Stealthic hairbase

Travis & Travis got naughty after the styling exercise was done. There’s an extra image for patrons on my Patreon.

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