As regulars to this blog know I like playing with my home islands and land, frequently swapping house, kitbashing and modding units I’ve purchased to create something if not unique, then at least comfortable to me. As such I’m always on the lookout for units and builds that appeal, be it by paging through the Marketplace, visiting in-world stores or in writing about and photographing regions across Second Life.
It was whilst doing the latter – writing about and photographing a region – that I spotted a build that lodged itself in my head.
The region in question was Carrowmore, a fabulous design lead by Pleasure Ò Raigàin (vVEdanaVv), as covered in A trip to an Irish corner of Second Life. Within that region, Pleasure had tucked a building by FelixvonKotwitz Alter: the Mesh romance flower cottage. True, a good part of the appeal within Carrowmore was the manner in which Pleasure had blended the cottage and its surrounds into her setting – but there was something about the cottage itself that attracted me and set my mind towards integrating it into the home island.
The cottage actually comes in a number of variants – autumn, winter, a version (Maple Tree) with a different landscape layout – and the one I plumped for after seeing it at Carrowmore: what might be called the “summer version”, which comes with the highest land impact (193) largely due to the included plants and flowers (all of which are mesh models rather than low-poly textured faces) – something which plays in its favour for those of us who cannot resist kitbashing.
And when it comes to kitbashing / modding, Fleix has put together the perfect package with this cottage. The core of the model comprises a base that combines a grass and flower textured outer element and a central cobbled section complete with a path that passes over the “grass”. Atop this sit the circular, brick-built cottage.
What is refreshing here is that Felix has avoided baking shadows into either the building or the base; this means that while the cottage is intended to sit within circle of cobbles (so they almost form a narrow footpath around the cottage). But if required, the cottage can be moved around on the base – something that turned out to be important for my design.
Surrounding the cottage is a ring of grass and moss-topped rocks on and over which Felix has placed those flowers and trees, to present a secluded setting ringed by rocks and plants that embrace the cottage, welcoming people into its two rooms – ground and upper. These are not large enough to make for a primary house, but they does make for a nice little romantic retreat or garden summer house, as I have. And with its alcoves and offset staircase, the ground floor has enough room to make it cosy hideaway, whilst the fact the semi-circular stairway is offset means it doesn’t intrude into the circular upper floor room.
What’s more, the rock formations, plants and trees are all individual, making it possible to change it up as required; plants can be removed or replaced to reduce LI, the rock formations can be moved around to create a larger space, if required. In the case of my home island, the modularity of the model allowed me to open-out the rock formations a little, reposition a couple and use a copy of the base mesh and prim to create a second secluded spot as a little outdoor annex for the cottage, the two connected by path and rocky arch.
At L$695 (or L$595 for either the autumn or winter versions) and available both in-world at Felix’s store – where you can also view it through a rezzing system – and on the Marketplace, this is a superb little model, excellent as it stands or as a model ready for modding.