One day you are a playful blonde and the next one you are a sultry brunette, that’s how it goes in Second Life. Especially when you got yourself a new mesh body to play with and you are trying out some skins. I am determined to make the most of Egoisme’s Exmachina full avatar and very much enjoy the process of creating several new looks. Of course all of these will seem unique until the moment I run into myself… But hey, we can turn that into a twin fantasy. Alright, alright! I’d better get my mind out of the gutter and look at another skin.
At the time that I am publishing this post, 7 Deadly S[k]ins is temporarily offering free group membership. With their monthly group gifts and overall generosity, this brand is a veritable treasure trove of affordable skins. From time to time you will have to purchase a particular body applier for example, to match a free mesh head applier. If you like their skins, it definitely is worth sacrificing a groups-slot for. I would describe their body skins as not extremely realistic but rather stylised with nice details. The skin applier that covers the head is named Jaxx and the applier for the body is their Caramel skin tone. It is the smooth version in combination with body hair which I borrowed from a Nivaro skin. Note that not everything lines up perfectly, but I find that is often the case with generic Omega appliers. At least there are no ugly toe shadows, just a bit of a nipslip (oh! a new meaning for that word!)
Now that I picked up the Omega installer for the Exmachina full avatar, I finally got around to trying out an old skin on this new body. Truth be told, I don’t have an extensive collection of skins hanging in the closet and for some reason I now feel like lowering a basket into a pit and shouting down at whomever is down there: “it rubs the lotion on its skin or it gets the hose.” If you don’t get that reference, you really need to go watch Silence Of The Lambs. Anywhoooo, I slapped on the “Gav” skin from 7 Deadly S[k]ins and the matching body applier in their “Cotton” skin tone and instantly saw an interesting change from the standard look of this avatar. It took some further shape editing to make this skin work well and while the end result isn’t one of my personal favourites, I definitely wouldn’t feel ashamed to be seen in public like this. Then again, I am shameless.
Egoisme’s EXMACHINA full avatar has been out for a couple of weeks now, but the creator and his (reluctant?) scripter have been working on an update already, which landed in my inventory yesterday… and shortly after another one… and today another one. How delightfully disorganised!
The first thing I noticed when I put on the body, was that the rigging issues with the thighs and feet had been fixed. These body parts respond to the shape sliders now, where as with the previous version nothing was happening no matter in which direction I shoved those sliders. The proportions aren’t ideal though. If I push the leg muscles all the way to 100%, the thighs get ridiculously chunky while the calves remain slender in comparison. The ankle is much more elegant now, but perhaps a bit too delicate. What I find more disappointing are the lines that have appeared in the skin all of a sudden. There seems to be a box around the abs and a seam on the lower back. The visible seam above the ankle, which was already an issue with the first release, is still there too. At this point it might look better with some stitches around these peculiar edges so it becomes more of a Frankenstein look for Halloween. Oh and yes, I know Frankenstein is the name of the mad doctor, not the human jigsaw puzzle.
This body is now Omega compatible, but none of the Omega skins I have wanted to stick to it, so lets wait and see if someone starts creating some skins for it. The hud is still suffering from occasional hiccups and with the latest update I don’t seem to be able to adjust the shininess. Oh well, it probably will be raining updates again sooner or later.
I was quite excited tot see that the new package contained a couple of thongs but then rather disappointed that they were unrigged and it took some work to get them to sorta kinda almost but not really fit. Hopefully underwear that is made for this body is just around the corner. I’m keeping my fingers crossed (cause we have bento now).
Sometimes I can be like a dog with a bone (pun very much intended). In this case it means that I’m bloody well going to dress Egoisme’s EXMACHINA full avatar even if it kills me! I’ve feverishly rummaged around in my virtual closet for a while again and unearthed a pair of tropical shorts from Sakide with a triumphant “aha!”. The medium size works nicely, if I hold my breath and clench my ass, because posture is everything my dear. Posture! All joking aside, it’s not a bad fit. You can just wear these and go for a swim or hang out at the beach, or pair them with another quasi vintage SL piece like the Centelli tank top by Horr and it becomes something suitable for a day at the park. In that case, you will be needing shoes and I was very pleased to find that the unrigged version of the Low Top Sneakers by L&B Swear, work quite well with this body’s difficult to manage feet. You can still get these sneakers at Fameshed till September 27th and I suspect they will be at the L&B main store soon after. Admittedly the tank top is a bit loose on the shoulders and has some slight clipping issues around the shoulder blades, but all in all I can live with this happy-go-lucky, not a care in the world, colourful little ensemble.
It is difficult to predict whether support for Egoisme’s Exmachina full avatar will gather any momentum. Of course it has only been officially out since a couple of weeks, but right now the options are very limited. I did another search on “exmachina” in Marketplace earlier today and found a full perm tank top complete with shorts. I would have preferred a separate top and bottom, but seeing how little there is available for this body, I pounced on it like a bored cat on an old mouse. After all, it was only L$ 50 and gave me an excuse to try my hand at texturing. For the top I went for a mixed blue fabric with white polka dots and for the shorts I stuck with a simple dark blue linen. This outfit won’t be turning any heads, but at least I have something suitable for those beach bum days with the lean mean sex machine… I mean the Exmachina full avatar.
Occasionally I like a challenge, like dressing a new mesh body or decorating a room in a style I haven’t tried before, but sometimes I just want things to be nice and easy, like popping on the Belleza Jake mesh body and breezing through this month’s round of Fameshed, focusing only on the men’s items and just getting some goodies for myself.
First to catch my eye were the JogJeans shorts by Dufuax. They stick to my ass like maple syrup to a pancake and possibly are just as sweet. They ride up de crack a bit, but the texturing is exquisite with nice details like the buttons, rivets and drawstrings and some subtle signs of wear and tear. The back pockets are somewhat on the small side but the “package” is nicely defined. Overall a very nice effort from Dufaux. You can also wear these shorts with the Aesthetic or Signature mesh body.
Another thing that clings to my buttocks like a second skin are the Wade Denims by Riot. I persuaded myself to get the fatpack, but to be honest between some of the shades the difference is just a tad too subtle. On the positive side, these jeans really remind me of the art of Tom of Finland in the way they do something to my gluteus maximus which defies gravity. The crotch on the other hand seems underdeveloped, but I suppose you can’t always have it all. Each colour includes a normal and a skinny version and a hud for changing the belt and hardware. These jeans also work with the Adam, Signature and Slink mesh body. The orange belt went nicely with the Low Top Sneakers by L&B Swear. These are not available as a single colour version, but for L$ 699 you get 18 colours, which is quite generous. Apart from a pair for the Belleza body, you also get versions for the Signature, Slink and Aesthetic body as well as a non-rigged pair.
Etham pulled me in with the old school look of their Letterman Jacket. It’s available in the range of colours we are used to from Etham and even when you go for a single colour version, you still get a hud to change the t-shirt, buttons and stripes. It also works with the Signature, Slink, TMP and NX-Nardcotix mesh bodies as well as classic avatars. I’m combining it here with the Riot jeans in white, which work very well with it.
Ascend charmed me with their Anton leather jacket complete with optional shirt, tie or bow tie. A hud lets you chose from a bunch of colours for the shirt and contains a number of patterns for the tie, bow tie and elbow patches. If you want to make it easy to find a pair of trousers to go with this jacket, I suggest you check out the Ascend main store. Their latest designs work with Adam, Belleza, Signature, Slink and TMP bodies
I left it late to visit Fameshed this round, as it will be ending on September 27th. Darn you real life! How dare you interrupt my SL shopping experience with real holidays, touchable friends and actual family! But of course, if you’ve missed it, most of these items will be showing up at the creators’ main stores eventually.
As I sit here in my laundry day outfit of sweatpants and an old tatty shirt, and look at these pictures of my virtual alter ego, I cannot help but wonder if Neo perhaps would have taken the blue pill if his fake life in The Matrix hadn’t been so dull. On the other hand, for all intends and purposes, I’m my avatars sugar daddy and I’m sure I would not enjoy being completely dependent on someone. It would be interesting if they did a remake of Pretty Lady with a male prostitute though. Then again, maybe Billy goes places and sees people while I’m offline. Maybe it’s more like Toy Story! Maybe I should log off and watch another episode of Game of Thrones. Maybe…
Mesh body: “Jake” by Belleza.
Mesh head & eyes: “Stanley” by Catwa.
Skin: Face applier “Arthur” for Catwa and body applier for Belleza both by Stray Dog.
Hair: Reach by Stealthic.
Mesh ears: Steking Ears Season 5 by Mandala.
When I was asked to furnish and decorate a dining room in a mock Tudor house I pounced on the opportunity, as I hadn’t worked with that particular style before. Luckily I was allowed to go for a design scheme which has a Tudor feel to it, without having to stick to items that were true to the actual Tudor period, because I would have been hard pressed to find enough high quality mesh pieces that fit that description.
The heavy Casolare table from The Loft wouldn’t stick out like a sore thumb in an actual Tudor house, but the accompanying draped chairs give this dining room an elegant modern touch without being too dainty. The place settings, table runner and candles also belong to the Casolare set and you can get the vase with roses from Ariskea’s Markeplace store. For the Persian rug I got busy with a full perm mesh rug, a picture of an antique rug and underlying normal and specular textures to make it pop. I didn’t have to think long about which chandelier I was going to use here, as the Classic Chandelier from Fancy Decor is a perfect fit for this room.
The owner of this home already made an excellent choice with the Apple Fall China Cabinet, which goes nicely with the Paris side table from ~Bazar~. A casual jug of Daffodils add a pop of colour while the fruit bowls and drinks tray with elder flower cordial suggest a healthy lifestyle (all from Apple Fall). The frame for the painting is from Fancy Decor and originally had a landscape in it (I think) but I’ve replaced it with a classic male nude.
This room needed something like the N4RS Bombe chest for storing silverware and table linens and as it’s the adult version, it adds a bit of spice to the space along with the sexy contemporary male nude paintings. Meanwhile the Birdcage Candles from Tartessos Arts cast a pleasing glow in this corner and the French Horn Planter from Dust Bunny was the perfect gacha item to add a touch of opulence to the scene.
This is not a very typical traditional dining room and it should not come as a surprise that it has a little cosy corner, which you might call a reading nook. However, the N4RS Dixon Wingback chair that lives in this corner is rather naughty, so I’m not sure that much reading will get done between dinner and hanky panky. The Recycled Ladder Bookshelf” from DaD DESIGN has a built-in light so it will be useful no matter what position you find yourself in. Should you for any reason find yourself on the floor at this side of the room then the Highland Hide Rug from The Loft is sure to offer some comfort. If you want to keep things PG, you can always nibble on a muffin and sip a cup of tea from Apple Fall which you will find waiting for you on a robust little side table from No Concept.
Like the ladder bookshelf, the Apple Fall Masculine Bar adds another rustic touch to the room. I stocked it with some nicely aged Dutchie wine so all I had to do was throw in the Roquefort Cheese Slate by Artisan Fantasy and I had myself a delightful wine and cheese evening. I admit that after all that, I still may have polished off a piece of the Apple Fall Fig & Blackberry Cake, because it was just so tempting. The frame and picture light are also from Apple Fall but I did replace the original artwork with somethings that’s in line with the male nude theme we’ve got going on in this dining room. To finish this corner and inject more formal atmosphere, I used Theory’s Chippendale Cabinet and Imari Bowl and Plates, but I replaced the texture of the cupboard doors at the bottom of this cabinet.
As I didn’t want to block the views of the garden or stop the daylight from coming in, I chose some low items to place by the windows:
I wasn’t sure at the start of this project where it was going to take me, but things started to get clear as soon as I tinted the wallpaper a rich dark red and found the dining table and chairs at The Loft. After that, filling in the gaps wasn’t difficult. I could have loaded the table, dresser and bar with more food and items, but there was a prim count to keep track off. I used a total of 132 prims, which isn’t too bad considering how much things there are to look at in this room. Right! And now time for some TV… Hmmm, an episode of The Tudors perhaps?
It’s time for a quicky, so just lay back, close your eyes and think of the motherland.
Left: Having recently purchased the EXMACHINA full avatar, I took another look at the Egoisme clothing line and was yet again baffled by the fact that much of their range bearing the “Exmachina” name wasn’t really made for this body. After trying on and discarding some items I eventually settled on a long t-shirt with a sexy diagonal zipper. I was able to make the fitmesh version work with some shape editing and paired it with the Broberry jeans and Chase sneakers from Deadwool.
Middle: From the current round of TMD I picked up a Tonktastic T-shirt and for something to combine it with I dove into my inventory and settled on the “Killer Pants” by Body Factory. To finish it off I simply changed the colours of the Deadwool sneakers.
Right: While I was at TMD I also picked up a new pair of chinos by Cold Ash and I then went over to the Cold Ash main store to see if they had something nice I could wear with them. I chose their “Sawyer” denim shirt as a suitable match and for shoes I went with the Deadwool “Dandy” shoes, by making the feet invisible and filling the tiny gap between the hem of the trousers and the top of the shoes with socks.
General impression: I tried on several items at TMD that simply don’t work with this body and I’m really missing some nice underwear options for it, so what the hell am I suppose to wear when I want to hang out at home and sing “today I don’t feel like doing anything”?
Egoisme first started wetting my appetite for their mesh bodies with an advert for the “bento ready” EXMACHINA Mesh Avatar in the L’Homme Magazine issue of November 2016. Apparently this body had already been in the works for a while at that point but I’m not sure if they were fully aware that it would take them another 10 months to get it ready for market and that meanwhile Belleza and NX-Nardcotix were going to beat them to the punch.
My usual landmark for Egoisme took me to some kind of Gothic castle. It turned out that this oversized construction was floating not very high above the Egoisme sim. Next to the vendors for the mesh body you will find a handy sign with teleport buttons to the apparel and skin departments down below. In my opinion it feels like a disjointed dysfunctional disassociated shopping experience and a school example of poor marketing.
There is a free version of the EXMACHINA body which is little more than a demo, because it doesn’t include any kind of hud, so what you see is exactly what you get and there are zero options. Let’s move on to the full version, which will set you back L$3990. For that money you get a mesh body with a mesh head attached to it, which does make it different from all the headless bodies I have stashed away up in the attic… eeehm… I mean safely stored in my inventory.
To my knowledge no 3rd party skins have been developed for this body yet so you will be stuck with one of the 4 skin tones included. Luckily I rather fancy one of the medium tones so I won’t moan too much about it for now. The package includes a pair of rigged eyes which for me fall in the category of “nice try but no cigar”. While we’re on the subject of dodgy execution, let’s say that there is a lot of room for improvement in the ears department. Then again, that seems a recurring issue with mesh heads, almost as if the creators aren’t listening to our input or aren’t hearing us (see what I did there). On the plus side: at least you can hide them with the hud.
The head is less responsive to the shape-editing sliders than for example the Catwa mesh heads and I was particularly unimpressed with how the eyes responded to my editing exercise. However, in my opinion the head is flexible enough to create a look that is quite different from the standard shape without looking freakish. The hud does not offer any options for eyebrows, freckles or makeup and you really need to pick up the free hairbase when you get the body, because it looks like that is the only one that will work for now.
Moving further down, I appreciate the musculature of this body. The pecs are well defined without being droopy, though perhaps the nipples could have been slightly less pointy. The upper- and lower arm ratio is better than that of some other mesh bodies and the elbows have been nicely worked out without taking it to the point that they collapse when you bend your arms. If you push the muscle slider to the max, the top of the biceps gets an angular appearance, so for those wanting a very big and muscular look… stick with the Aesthetic mesh body. I would describe the abs as dreamy but if that doesn’t sound masculine enough for your hetero normative ears, let’s just say they’re “woof”!
The legs are slightly problematic. Only the calves seem to respond to the leg muscle slider so you will be stuck with swimmer’s legs. Personally I don’t think this is a bad thing, but it is a limitation. What is a bad thing however, is the visible seam on the shins. I find this unacceptable! This fault is somewhat lost in the shadows in the pictures, but at times it was very visible. I can be positive about the backside though. The butt is a nice little bubble and while this bit of junk-in-da-trunk won’t be winning over anybody with a serious fetish for big butts, it does stand out proud and perky. You can of course make it much flatter, if such is your fancy. Move all the way down to the toes and you hit another bump in the road, because the feet don’t respond to the size slider. What’s up with that?
Right! Enough with the gratuitous nudity, it’s time to swap out the nasty ears with nice Mandala “Steking” mesh ears, pop in a pair of mesh eyes from Catwa, put on the “Haunting” hairstyle from Stealthic and take a look at some clothes for this body.
Left: Egoisme has been releasing several items under the Exmachina label for some time now. I mistakenly thought these would automatically fit this body, but the Exmachine jeans did not include a size made for it. The small size is an ok fit though, with some minor tweaks to my shape.
Middle: This shirt, suit trousers and shoes are all from Deadwool. Of course these weren’t made for the EXMACHINA avatar at all, but it wasn’t too much of a hassle to make it work. Tim Gunn would be proud.
Right: This jacket and trousers from Kauna work nicely too, as long as you’re willing to get your tweak on.
I hope that EXMACHINA and Egoisme will keep the updates and accessories coming for this body and perhaps make the hud a lot more user-friendly. For now I think I would give this one a score of a “soft” 7 out of 10.
The weather in Belgium has become quite fickle in this second week of my holiday. In the middle of a sudden very sunny spell you can find yourself in a freakishly local shower, just when you thought it was safe to remove your hoodie. I figured that if I was going to get wet in real life, I might as well head over to aQua in Second Life to see if that liquid little event has grown a bit since it’s previous edition.
After wandering around a bit, making a purchase and taking some pictures, I had a little rest in a club chair from Stockholm & Lima, which is kinda funny because I’ll be flying back to Stockholm at the end of this week… albeit not over Lima, unless the pilot makes some serious miscalculation. Enough jibber-jabbering! Lets take a closer look at some of the items our creative fellow SL residents are showcasing at this round of aQua.
Left: Sharp brought a pair of running shorts with a towel worn round the shoulders and a fitness/music technical thingamabob to go on your upper arm. If it weren’t for the towel this would be just another pair of running shorts, but as a set I rather liked this creation.
Middle: A pair of playfully spooky sneakers from Cult. I suppose this could be interpreted as a little wink to the upcoming Halloween season, because it will be here before you can say bubble bubble toil and trouble ten times fast.
Right: While the focus at aQua definitely isn’t on interior or decor, there are a couple of items on offer like this rustic set from Merak, which ties in nicely with the travel theme that seems to be the somewhat loose fil rouge for this edition of aQua.
Participants (in alphabetical order cause I’m a quasi pedantic nerdy lill’ bitch):
Bee Designs, Beusy, Cult, Diamandis, Doux, Gaia, Identity, Kenny Rolands, Krescendo, Lybra, MadPea, Mai Bilavio, Merak, Mesh India, Moda, Saga, Seven, Sharp, Stockholm & Lima.
Conclusion: There seem to be even less participants than last time and less unisex or male items. I know this event is still a bit wet behind the ears, but I was expecting more of this edition. Better luck next time aQua!