The prototype they sent me is pretty darn simple and straight forward. I do prefer to have some instructions even with something simple, what's obvious to one person is not necessarily obvious to another. Being a prototype and a simple one at that I'm willing to overlook the lack of instructions. Everything else is typical high quality Aetherworks components.
You can scroll down to the pictures but basically the kit consists of a second floor, one interior wall and supports to hold the floor in place. You take the supports and glue those into the first floor of the building, that provides a nice ledge for the 2nd floor to rest on. You then glue the interior wall to the floor add the door lintels and you are done. I really like the look the supports add to the first floor, really adds to the look of the interior without a lot of effort, although I would probably recommend gluing wallpaper in place first rather than afterwards.
Its simple elegant solution which I like. I set a couple of minis down on the second floor and pulled it straight out with no problem so it certainly foots the bill. It doesn't take a lot in the way of materials and its not very heavy.
It has a couple of drawbacks that, for the most part, are probably more personal for me than real drawbacks. I would prefer that that whole 2nd floor came off to get to the bottom floor. Its just a little awkward to moving minis around on the bottom floor when you have to reach all the way into the building. The lift out also means I can't really do anything to the walls on the second floor beyond wallpaper them. The fit is reasonably tight so anything I glue to the wall that protrudes into the room, like a window frame, is going to lock the 2nd floor into place. These concern me because I am a modeler first and not being able to do anything to much to the interior bothers me. I would have preferred a whole shell myself so you have walls going all around the room plus the interior wall. A lot of detail could be cut in with the laser cutter if they went this route. However, that would add a lot of materials (essentially a whole other building) and weight to the package without a lot of gain. From a game standpoint its a pretty minor issue, and for most gamers its not going to be an issue at all.
The only thing I might think about adding is a hole in the 2nd floor and stairs going up to it. That takes it from a simple kit to something a bit more complex though and isn't really necessary, but I would still like to see it.
I don't know if or when we might see this 2nd floor kit go into production but if you already own a number of Aetherworks 2 Story buildings then this is an excellent buy. It will take you about 10 minutes to assemble the whole thing and be ready to go. If you have some Aetherworks buildings drop them a line and see if you can acquire some of these kits for your building. If you don't have any but are thinking about buying some then definitely see if they can include these 2nd floor kits to your order. You can contact them through their website: Aetherworks
Here are some pictures of my version, since it is a prototype I don't know what might be changed but I imagine these pictures will still be pretty close to the final.
|Interior wall glued to the 2nd floor, this becomes your handhold.|
|Definitely fits inside, I think its a little low right now, or maybe just a building sized elevator.|
|End Supports. I do like these a lot better than using Battle Flag's template and scooting it around the walls to make sure you glue all your support beams in place at the same height.|
|Gluing the supports in place. My weights are probably over kill at this point, but useful none the less|
|Making sure the end supports are never coming off.|
|Supports in place|
|2nd Floor in place. Works Great!|