Who We Are
RAL PARTHA ENTERPRISES
Formed in July of 1975 by Tom Meier, Glenn Kidd, Chuck Crain, Rich Smethurst, Marc Rubin, and Jack Hesselbrock in Cincinnati Ohio.
Ral Partha set the standard for quality, and produced thousands of excellent miniatures sculpted by Tom Meier, Dennis Mize, Julie Guthrie, Bob Charrette, C. Brad Gorby, Richard Kerr, Dave Summers, Sandra Garrity, Bob Olley, Chris Atkin, George Freeman, Ann Gallup, Chris Fitzpatrick, Jeff Wilhelm, Jim Johnson, Drew Williams, Geoff Valley, John Winters, Nick Bibby, Tim Prow, Jeff Grace, Steve Saunders, Brady Bugge, Ken Kersey, Robert Kyde, Phil Lewis, Behrle Hubboch, Bobby Jackson, and many more.
In the early 1980s, Marc Rubin drafts a set of miniature combat rules titled “Rules According to Ral”.
Between 1984 and 1986, Bob Charrette, Rich Smethurst, and Chuck Crain build upon the Rules According to Ral to create the “Chaos Wars” rules set.
Mike Noe becomes Factory Manager in 1987.
In September of 1998, the owners of Ral Partha sell the company to FASA.
RAL PARTHA / FASA
Ral Partha operates under the parent company FASA from late 1998 to January 2001
Many of the crew, including Mike Noe remain at Ral Partha.
FASA ceases operations in January 2001. WizKids becomes the parent company to Ral Partha.
IRON WIND METALS
In December 2001, Wizkids sells the rights, molds, and equipment for producing metal miniatures to Mike Noe and four other Ral Partha employees. Mr. Noe is primary shareholder and President of the company.
At Mike's invitation, former Ral Partha owner Marc Rubin buys in as a partner in the new company. That company is named The Iron Wind Metals Company (IWM).
Over the years many former Ral Partha employees work for IWM, reprising their roles as casters, packers, and mold makers. Former owner Chuck Crain runs the dealer booth for IWM at conventions, and Rich Smethurst does some promotion for the company to retailers and at conventions.
Ral Partha miniatures are produced as a product range, primarily via webstore. Iron Wind Metals adds several new lines of miniatures including; player characters, dragons, accessories, and expands on the 01-nnn and 03-nnn ranges.
RAL PARTHA - A DIVISION OF IRON WIND METALS
In late 2014, Mike Noe and Marc Rubin agree to a plan proposed by Jacob Fathbruckner to rerelease some of the classic Tom Meier sculpts of Elves, Orcs, and Goblins. This eventually becomes the Chaos Wars project. In March of 2015, Jacob Fathbruckner buys in as a partner into IWM, instructed to head up the Chaos Wars project, and other new ventures after that. As the project evolves, Mike and Marc inform Jacob that he may begin operating under the Ral Partha name. After discussion, they agree that Jacob will operate under the brand “Ral Partha – A Division of Iron Wind Metals”. In April of 2015 the division launches a Kickstarter to release the first wave of the Chaos Wars project, featuring Elves, Orcs, and Goblins. In April of 2016 they launch a Kickstarter to release the second wave of the Chaos Wars project, featuring Dwarves, Troglodytes, and the Undead. In September of 2018 they launch a Kickstarter to release the third wave of the Chaos Wars project, featuring Dryads, Fae, and Chaos Warriors. Each kickstarter exceeds expectations, and the Chaos Wars Demo Team takes the game to conventions throughout the country. With each set of rereleases, new sculpts were added to help flesh out the ranges, and several previously unreleased miniatures have also been released.
RAL PARTHA LEGACY
In 2018, Jacob Fathbruckner purchases the rights to Tom Meier’s Colonial and Renaissance ranges, once produced by Ral Partha. In 2015, he had acquired the rights to the Legion of the Petal Throne range, which had once also been produced by Ral Partha.
With an excess of work keeping the IWM facility busy, less and less time was available for the company to work on the next Chaos Wars release, and it was unclear when there would be an opportunity to re-release the Colonial, Renaissance, and LPT lines for inclusion in the Chaos Wars project. Discussions between the partners led to the conclusion that JF should try to release them on his own.
In further discussions about JF getting permissions to use the Chaos Wars branding while selling his own ranges, Mike Noe proposed the idea of breaking the Chaos Wars project off as its own entity. After 3 months of friendly discussion and details, paperwork was signed to grant JF ownership of the Chaos Wars game and setting, ownership of certain miniatures, and a license to produce other classic Ral Partha Miniatures. Details of the announcement can be found here: https://ralparthalegacy.com/pages/iwm-announcement.
In March 2020, Jacob and his wife sold their home and moved to a nearby property in his home town, which included an old garage that could be transformed into a workshop. Doing so during the start of a pandemic was not planned, and is not suggested in the future. A small but reliable group of volunteers has transformed the garage into a passable workshop, and things are falling into place as the stock is cast at Iron Wind Metals, and stored in the workshop, ready to be shipped out once ordered.
The new company was announced in July, with a planned opening of the webstore later that month. Several unavoidable delays have caused the opening of the webstore to be pushed back several times, but we wanted to wait and get everything right before going live. The fact that the webstore is live now means that everything is in place, and we believe we can provide you with a pleasant shopping experience.
Several deals have been, and are being, worked out with sculptors to acquire additional new and classic miniatures. Details should be coming shortly. Needless to say, we are very excited. The only thing that will slow us is the need to bring in funds for the creation of new molds. But as sales are made, all profit is being reinvested back into this business.
There are big plans on the horizon. We hope you will join us on this adventure.