Iron Wind Metals
Iron Wind Metals, LLC (IWM) is an American manufacturer of miniature figurines. They are essentially the manufacturing portion of what was previously Ral Partha, Inc., without the trademark. Since 2014, Ral Partha is formally a Division of Iron Wind Metals. Ral Partha and IWM are notable for having produced a wide range of miniatures for Battledroids and BattleTech.
IWM, or its Ral Partha division, should not be confused with Ral Partha Europe which is now a distinct firm.
Ral Partha Enterprises was formed in 1975 as a designer, manufacturer, and seller of miniature figures. The scale of the miniatures it sold included 15mm, 25mm, 30mm, and 54mm scales. Its miniatures included a broad selection of figures for historical wargaming plus a selection of fantasy figures and space figures (for Strike Team Alpha). It also sold some games, rule sets, and books. In 1978 and nearly each year thereafter, Ral Partha produced annual catalogs (sometimes with incorporated price lists) describing the various lines it produced and sold. .
Ral Partha introduced a line of metal miniatures for Battledroids shortly after FASA's publication of Battledroids in 1984. . Following the renaming of Battledroids to Battletech with the publication of BattleTech 2nd edition in 1985, this line was also renamed. Throughout the 80's and 90's Ral Partha sold a variety of metal miniatures for BattleTech, including mechs, vehicles, infantry, and aerospace units.
Ral Partha was jointly purchased by FASA and by Lanier and Mike Hurdle in September 1998. FASA obtained sole ownership in spring 1999.. In 2001, FASA ceased its operations and Ral Partha was spun off and renamed Iron Wind Metals.
Following the spin-off, Iron Wind Metals would use the label Ral Partha to brand several of its prior lines of fantasy figures. Ral Partha would be instituted as a division of Iron Wind Metals in 2014. In 2020 this division was retired within Iron Wind Metals and spun off as Ral Partha Legacy. Ral Partha Legacy received the rights to the miniatures in the Chaos Wars line. Certain Ral Partha fantasy miniatures and historical miniatures were continued to be produced by Iron Wind Metals . With regards to BattleTech metal miniatures, Iron Wind Metals is the direct successor and heir to Ral Partha.
Iron Wind Metals
Fan Financing and Crowdfunding
In 2013 Iron Wind Metals created a crowdfunding campaign to fund the development of molds for pewter miniatures of the Word of Blake's three Spectral LAMs which ran from January 26, 2013, to March 13, 2013, successfully raising $30,122 off a $25,000 goal.
- Ral Partha Enterprise Inc. Catalog 1978
- Ral Partha Fantasy Catalog 1985
- Pyramid Magazine, Industry News, 20 March 1999
- The Convoluted Story of Iron Wind Metals, Ral Partha, and Battletech Miniatures on Purplepawn.com
- IWM Announcement
- BattleTech - Word of Blake Spectral LAMs Kickstarter announcement