• Before making a single edit, Tropedia EXPECTS our site policy and manual of style to be followed. Failure to do so may result in deletion of contributions and blocks of users who refuse to learn to do so. Our policies can be reviewed here.
  • All images MUST now have proper attribution, those who neglect to assign at least the "fair use" licensing to an image may have it deleted. All new pages should use the preloadable templates feature on the edit page to add the appropriate basic page markup. Pages that don't do this will be subject to deletion, with or without explanation.
  • All new trope pages will be made with the "Trope Workshop" found on the "Troper Tools" menu and worked on until they have at least three examples. The Trope workshop specific templates can then be removed and it will be regarded as a regular trope page after being moved to the Main namespace. THIS SHOULD BE WORKING NOW, REPORT ANY ISSUES TO Janna2000, SelfCloak or RRabbit42. DON'T MAKE PAGES MANUALLY UNLESS A TEMPLATE IS BROKEN, AND REPORT IT THAT IS THE CASE. PAGES WILL BE DELETED OTHERWISE IF THEY ARE MISSING BASIC MARKUP.


WikEd fancyquotes.pngQuotesBug-silk.pngHeadscratchersIcons-mini-icon extension.gifPlaying WithUseful NotesMagnifier.pngAnalysisPhoto link.pngImage LinksHaiku-wide-icon.pngHaikuLaconic

One of the craziest ways a villain can keep their base hidden is to keep it moving constantly around the country. Of course, there's no way your typical Elaborate Underground Base will fit into the average mobile home, (unless it's bigger on the inside than the outside) but rather than compromise and throw away the Shark Pool, the villain will put his base in an overly large truck or train.

Typically, this vehicle is armour plated and two or three lanes wide, and as a result can just careen straight down the middle of the road/railway ignoring low bridges, other cars and especially the dreaded toll booth—there's almost always a scene of the toll-booth and a few other cars exploding spectacularly as they drive through. The vehicles are also much faster than their real-life equivalents—the lorries that carry fully-furnished buildings can barely make twenty five miles per hour, on straight, clear roads with police escorts. This of course gets even sillier if the villain does not scrimp on the size of his mobile base, resulting in mountain-sized machinery zipping about.

There have also been cases of armoured trains in real life; during the Second World War both the Russians and the Germans used heavily armoured locomotives and wagons, sometimes even using spare tank turrets to give additional firepower, and artillery trains have been used as late as the war in Croatia in the 1990s. See also the Military Mashup Machine known as the Land Battleship, which is usually one of these, too.

This trope is for land vehicles only. For bases hidden in boats or flying vehicles, see Cool Boat, Cool Airship, and Cool Spaceship. Also compare Mercurial Base, a subtrope dealing with bases on extremely hot planets.

Examples of Base on Wheels include:

Anime and Manga

  • The girls from Bakuretsu Tenshi live and run their business in one of such trucks.
  • Landships of Combat Mecha Xabungle are Exactly What It Says on the Tin - a full scale land battleships carrying around companies of Walker Machines and Iron Gear type landships can transform into giant Walker Machins themselves, turning into Base on Legs.
  • The Excel Saga episode "Bowling Girls" features the a massive tractor trailer owned by the bowling terrorist organisation which goes straight through a toll booth, but which apparently has no bearing on the story.
  • The Gundam Meta-Verse loves this trope with all its heart it seems like almost every timeline must have at least one absurd rolling base/battleship examples include:
    • The Universal Century line includes the "Big Tray" class and the Zeon equivalents the "Gallop" and "Dabude" classes, but all of these pale before the grand champion and perhaps most insane of all examples in UC the "Adrastea" class yes it's a giant motorcycle land battleship.
      • In fact, the Zanscare Empire from Victory Gundam has several giant motorcycle ships, and one of their plans is the Earth Sweep Operation, which involves metaphorically bulldozing the planet with these ships and their mecha teams.
      • The After War Timeline has too many to easily list though of special note though are the "Trieste" class Amphibious Land battleship which unable to decide if it wanted to be a Cool Ship or Base on Wheels just split the difference, and the "Bandaal" class mobile land fortress!
      • The SEED Timeline meanwhile brings us the "Lesseps" class.
      • SD Gundam Force gives us Tenchijo, a castle on giant tank treads. And on each tower is a different weapon; a giant hammer, mace, claw, and spinning blades.
  • Overman King Gainer features a city on wheels, functioning as a base and living space for both the heroes and the entire population of the city that was mobilized. The enemies have control of the railroads, so quick transit of their forces makes a mobile base necessary for the Exodus.
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena - Movie only. The castle is on wheels big enough to crush cars, and they try to do exactly that.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann features a Base On Legs, the Dai-Gurren.
  • The Batomys from Valkyria Chronicles.
  • Anime example: Zoids has mobile bases for the titular mechs to travel in. They are themselves giant Zoids, and therefore animal shaped. Team Liger travels in a giant snail, the bad guys use a flying sperm whale, and the standard cargo hauler is the pillbug-shaped Gustaff.
  • The mobile command centers from Code Geass certainly fit the bill, until they are eventually replaced with flying equivalents. The Chinese still use the Longdan bases into the Second Season, however, along with their Ha'tak cruisers Da Longdan upgrade.
  • Robot Carnival features a massive robotic carnival on treads rolling over a desert, which due to malfunctions is now blowing up everything it comes near.
  • Soul Eater gives us a Awesome versions of this. Death City on Legs!. Best yet, it's on the side of the protagonists, and is controlled by a Cloudcuckoolander, Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass, Anthropomorphic Personification of Death. Eye-Poke Attack indeed!
  • The Fugaku, the mobile sea fortress of Chosakabe Motochika from Sengoku Basara is revealed in one episode to be capable of traveling on land as well as water. It becomes a completely land-based base on wheels when Mori assumes control of it

Comic Books

  • Strikeforce Morituri had its heroes roll around the country on a train-headquarters fighting alien invaders, after their mountain base was destroyed in a nuclear bombardment.
  • Part of the "future" Elf Quest story "The Rebels" takes place in a large complex on a Mercury-type planet that has an incredibly hot day side and a cold dark side. The base runs on rails laid around the planet's equator in order to stay on the dark side as the planet slowly rotates. Lucky there aren't any saboteurs on board, eh?


  • Live Free or Die Hard features an improbably big hacking center packed into a shipping container on the back of a tractor trailer. They do at least make it a little sensible, as the container is able to expand and contract to reasonable sizes to make it inconspicuous in city areas.
  • Goldeneye features the missile train, which while not that big, makes up for it in armor, length and sheer implausibly over-the-top goodness. Since the train was filmed in the UK and is a converted BR one, it's actually slightly too narrow due to a wider gauge of railway in the former USSR.
  • The mobile base for KITT in Knight Rider is a big truck. Notice that it seems to have some TARDIS technology applied, as it is bigger in the inside than in the outside. The Myth Busters proved it is possible to drive into a semi that's traveling at freeway speeds.
  • Naruto - The Big Bad in the second movie had one of these. In addition to a number of World War 2 style warships. Needless to say they actually managed to looked out of place even in the Schizo-Tech the series runs on.
  • The Speed Racer movie had Cruncher Block hanging out in the well-furnished (complete with piranha tank) back of a big red truck. This is possibly a Shout-Out to the Mammoth Car from the original cartoon, which blurred the line between Cool Car and Cool Train.
  • Star Wars:
    • A New Hope, the sandcrawlers that the Jawas tooled around in were bases on tracks.
    • The First Order in the Sequel Trilogy forewent a capital planet in favour of the Supremacy, introduced in The Last Jedi. Essentially a planet in its own right, the ship was 60 km long, held all the elite First Order personnel, could mine asteroids, and even build new Resurgent-class Star Destroyers, all while being capable of going to hyperspace. Their reasoning was that, while still in hiding, it was best to keep moving and that they never intended to stay in the Unknown Regions.
  • Ultraviolet includes a semi-truck apparently containing a spacious office, a two-story minimalist apartment, a supercomputer, a (literal) Hyperspace Arsenal and sufficient equipment to fix the protagonist's motorcyccle. However, there is sufficient other usage of TARDIS technology that is one of the least jarring things about the film.
  • The Big Bad's military-style semi in Warlords of the 21st Century a.k.a Battletruck.
  • The Exxon Valdez is the boat version for the Deacon in Waterworld.
  • In the Disney adaptation of John Carter Zodanga is reinvented as a mobile city dragging itself across the surface of Barsoom by dozens of giant shovels strip-mining the planet as it goes.
  • In Universal Soldier, the titular soldiers are based in a large expanding shipping container on the back of a semi. Originally a non-villanous example, as it is part of an experimental US military program. Later on, though, it gets taken over by the Big Bad.
  • Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War seems to operate solely out of his warship, the Sanctuary II.


  • The Wind On Fire books had the rival cities Ombaraka and Omchaka. These were driven by sails, and whenever they crossed paths they would attack each other by launching smaller 'land-sailers' at each other like torpedoes. Most of these intercept and destroy each other; actually scoring a hit on the other city is quite rare.
  • Diana Wynne Jones' Howl's Moving Castle has the titular castle. In the book, how it moves is not explained, other than a demon does it. It's just a regular ol' castle that's made of irregular blocks of black stone, radiates chill and wanders across the landscape. In the anime, it looks a steampunk version of Baba Yaga's chicken hut, with mechanical eyes and mouth and four chicken legs it walks around on.
    • Ironically the house is smaller inside than outside. The large castle is fake and just contains a moving door that is a portal to a normal house (normal apart from the magic door). In the anime the house is in some sense inside the steam punk castle so there you can look out of a window to the moving landscape.
  • Half the premise of Philip Reeve's Mortal Engines.
  • The Thrawn Trilogy - A non-villainous example is Nomad City from the Star Wars Expanded Universe. It's a very large old ship carried by a large number of captured AT-ATs, so it's sort of a base on legs. The reason why it needs to move is that it's a mining station on a slow-turning planet very close to its hot sun, so it must always remain on the night side or would melt - as eventually happens once it is immobilized by an attack.
    • The X Wing Series has Ysanne Isard's Lusankya, a very Cool Starship. It's a Super Star Destroyer, sister ship to Executor, but until it rises from where it's been buried under a city, the New Republic knows it only as a rumored secret prison where captured Rebels are tortured and turned into Manchurian Agents. It's big enough to do that and have a largish prison, whose population has no clue that they're not in a cave somewhere. After pulling free of the surface and causing mass death in the process, Lusankya becomes a sort of Base On Engines.
    • The city is actually Coruscant, the capital of the New Republic, and a City Planet, and the Lusankya was actually buried upside down!
  • Patrick Tilley's Amtrak Wars novels, set a long time After the End, feature the Amtrak Federation, fighting an expansionist war out of Texas using giant "wagon-trains" that act as bases for troops and aircraft carriers for fleets of microlights. They're called the Amtrak Federation because they live in underground cities that were originally nuclear bunkers, connected by the "rail garrison" trains mentioned above, running on the Amtrak rail network. Truth in Television: The wagon trains are based on the Overland Train concept tested by the U.S. Army.
  • In Iain M. Banks' Consider Phlebas the protagonist explores a military command bunker left behind by an extinct species that consisted of a nuclear-powered subway train, the theory being that by constantly moving around through a system of underground rail tunnels the enemy wouldn't be able to target it effectively with atomic weapons. It seems to have worked, to a degree, considering the system remains intact long after the war that killed off the species. However, it turns out they managed to make themselves extinct through biological warfare, making the whole grand set-up ultimately pointless.
  • The Inverted World - There was a very strange version of this in Christopher Priest's novel. A city moved slowly along on rails, which the inhabitants of the city were constantly busy building ahead of it and dismantling behind it, and rather than having motors driving wheels it used winches and cables to slide along. The city was forced to keep moving because the geometry of space was distorted, with the world "ahead" and "behind" them stretched into uninhabitable proportions and the safe zone of "normal" space was gradually moving relative to the surface of the planet. The city had to keep up.
  • Absolution Gap, the last part of Alastair Reynolds' Revelation Space trilogy, has sections set on a moon where a whole religion has sprung up that involves giant mobile cathedrals constantly doing circuits of the moon without stopping. It Makes Sense in Context (though there is far too much context to go into here).

Live Action TV

  • ARK II had the good guys rolling around an After the End landscape in a mobile home/lab/storehouse of Lost Technology.
  • Power Rangers SPD: SPD HQ is revealed about ten episodes in to be one of these, transforming into a sort of tank formation. Around the midpoint of the series we find it to be capable of intercontinental travel. It also turns into a giant robot, but that's a different trope.
    • Power Rangers Ninja Storm had a small mobile base in a tractor-trailer. It wasn't their real base with all their stuff, but it came in handy on several occasions.
    • Power Rangers Zeo had a recreation vehicle that served as a base of operations for Rita Repulsa and Lord Zedd.
  • Wild Wild West had a train (complete with a steam locomotive) filled with gadgets and spy-equipment, as an operating base for the heroes.
  • The 80s Knight Rider series had a truck which KITT would periodically drive into for repairs and upgrades.
  • UNIT in the Doctor Who episodes "The Sontaran Stratagem" and "The Poison Sky" uses the Valiant, a helicarrier designed by the Master, as their main base. The rogue Time Lord himself used it as his seat of power in the Year That Never Was. The Daleks later shot it down.
  • Jim Rockford on The Rockford Files both lived in and worked out of a old, dilapidated mobile home, which usually remained parked on a Malibu beach, but on a few occasions, when he needed to skip town in a hurry, he hitched his trailer up (with the help of his retired trucker dad) and took home with him.


  • The music video for "Army of Me" by Bjork features a tractor trailer so large that the wheels themselves are taller than most people.

Tabletop Games

  • Eberron has Argonth, which patrols the border of Breland. Though it's not on wheels so much as it hovers.
  • In Warhammer 40000, if we discount the titans (which are literal base-cathedral-killing machines on legs) we are left with super-heavy tanks: When a tank is so big, that firing all weapons on the damn thing can only be described as a broadside, then you have a base on wheels.
    • The monastery-fortresses of the Iron Hands space marines are literally (massive, massive) Bases on Wheels.
    • An let's not forget the Necron's Monoliths. Which are less Bases on Wheels and more mobile floating (and teleporting) tombs of death and destruction.
    • And the Imperial Leviathan which is a giant mobile command center on wheels
    • The Capitol Imperialis. Essentially it's a huge troop carrier, exept that instead of infantry, it carries companies of tanks. Also works as a mobile command center and is armed with something called a "Doomsday Cannon"
    • Also, the Chaos airbases in Dan Abnett's Double Eagle are over a mile long, and mobile.
    • And the 'Spike' from Necropolis, a kilometer tall tracked spire mounting a normally spacecraft based weapon capable of cutting a Fortress in half
    • There's also the Squats, a now abandoned faction that specialised in this trope. Land Trains, the Colossus, the Cyclops...
    • And the role-playing games in the setting give us Ambulon, the wandering city (well, that's a city-sized Base On Legs, but close enough), and the hive-ships of Zayth, which are tracked megalopoli carrying ridiculous amounts of (occasionally starship-scaled) weaponry, used to battle other hive-ships for resources
  • Dungeons and Dragons 3E Great Wheel cosmology has the Crawling City in Gehenna, the capital city for the fiendish Yuggoloths
    • The demon prince (and Patron of Gnolls) Yeenoghu has a palace on rollers that is endlessly dragged around his domain by hordes of slaves.
    • The Dragon Magazine description of Baba Yaga's Dancing Hut fits this trope, probably more so than the original Russian myth, because the cottage on chicken legs is really a Pocket Dimension on chicken legs.
  • The d20 worldbook Dragon Mech has entire societies living in Humongous Mecha, from two man human powered walkers through 50 foot high clockwork or steam powered ones up to city-mechs carrying thousands of people and fleets of the smaller mechs.


  • Kenner's Megaforce toyline was based around gigantic vehicles, with almost all of them qualifying for Base on Wheels status. The biggest examples were the V-Rocs Thorhammer, a massive wheeled ballistic missile launcher with a skyscraper-sized missile, and the Triax Goliath, a crawler that could unfold into an entire frontline base.
  • During the late 80s and early 90s, G.I. Joe had a whole series of these; probably the most well-known was the Defiant space shuttle launch complex, and there was also the Rolling Thunder mobile ballistic missile launcher and GI Joe's aptly named Mobile Command Centre.

Video Games

  • James Bond: Everything Or Nothing features both the tractor trailer and train variants of this trope: early in the game, you have to board a train (an homage to the one from Goldeneye) which is so large that it has to straddle two separate tracks). Later, Jaws transports the nanotech to New Orleans in a tractor trailer so tall that it ploughs straight through other traffic and, of course, a toll booth.
  • The Eagleland and Dirty Communist 'recyclers' and factories in Battlezone are basically giant hovering... factories. They can fly around, deploy on a geyser, crap out a couple units and pack up and move along.
  • The G-1 Mobile Bases from Code Geass are a fairly typical example.
  • GDI's MARV, which eats entire Tiberium fields at a time, has enough space for a platoon of infantry to garrission inside, and is armed with three gigantic railgunssonic shockwave shell cannons.
    • There's also the MCV, which is basically a vehicle that can transform into a Construction Yard and then build bases. It can also pack up and leave when needed.
    • The Empire of the Rising Sun in Red Alert 3 have enormous ocean fortresses that maintain and house entire armies by themselves, in addition to significant defenses. You attack or defend one of these things depending on which campaign you play.
    • In C&C4, each player has a "crawler"; a giant walker, tank, or airship (depending on class) that has production facilities for units (and base defenses for the defense class), plus a ton of weapons on it. Meanwhile, base building has been mostly removed.
  • In Dragon Quest Heroes Rocket Slime, the Magitek tanks used in tank battles are mostly castles built on top of NASA crawlers. Each one has two floors and a fairly substantial interior volume.
  • Drone Tactics has one of these. It's a giant robotic snail with a cannon hidden under a hatch in its shell, which justifies the use of this trope all by itself.
    • Too bad the Snail practically dies in one hit in later levels, and the cannon it uses hardly dents the enemy hp, though you can buy upgrades to mitigate this.
  • Enemy Territory Quake Wars features a relatively small example, the MCP. It's a base/missile silo on tank tracks, and not too much harder to kill than most vehicles.
  • Fallout 3 has the Enclave's Mobile Base Crawler, a treaded vehicle spanning 3 floors and is large enough to house a mainframe, a complete barracks, an armory, and even a radar dish to activate a weapons sattelite.
    • And probably, as this is the Fallout universe after all, a nuclear reactor powering all this. Of course, this 'verse has nuke reactors powering cars, so that's not necessarily that remarkable.
  • Front Mission has the Chinese Tianlei Mobile Fortress. Yes, Exactly What It Says on the Tin, housing many wanzers, helis, and home to the enigmatic Imaginary Number special forces. Depending on your scenario, you either try to take it down, or defend it.
    • Gaiden Game Gun Hazard features Galeon, a pretty much textbook example of the Base on Wheels. It's also bigger inside than it is outside. Galeon hurtles around the desert at a pretty impressive pace given it's size (presumably relying on the frequent sandstorms to cover it's tracks) and is protected by numerous gun turrets. It also houses a small army of enemy wanzers, of course.
  • The British faction in Company of Heroes has mobile H Qs (Bedfords with extra seats for the commanders). They can be moved anywhere, sometimes even at an incredible speed, but in return, the British cannot promote civilian buildings to H Qs unlike every other faction.
  • Featured in the Halo 3 multiplayer map "Sandtrap" are two vehicles officially called "Behemoth-class Troop Tansport", colloquially known as "Elephants". While small examples of the Base On Wheels trope, they are the largest pilotable vehicles in the game. They also on default map settings come equipped with two detachable Gatling gun turrets and one fixed turret. They can also hold up to three ATV or two "Warthog" jeeps. In the universe of the game, they were designed for troop transport and vehicle recovery and feature large cranes, and an upper and lower deck. Though, in a few fan-made multiplayer modes, they are used as mobile flag-bases in Capture the Flag games.
  • The Playstation 3 game Haze has a land aircraft carrier as Mantel's base of operations, though given talk of the setting change and the obvious difference in detail between the upper and lower sections, it was probably originally supposed to be an ordinary carrier.
  • The Grindery in Lunar: The Silver Star is a giant castle that doubles as an even-more giant tank, and it's one of the Magic Emperor's favorite killing devices.
  • Marvel Ultimate Alliance featured the Omega Base, a giant military research station on tracks operated by S.H.I.E.L.D. The only plot reason it was on tracks was to have the villains hijack it and send it towards an hydroelectric dam.
    • The mission before involved the Helicarriers prompting Spiderman to wonder why they didn't add a tunnel to Japan to the extravagant waste two such vehicles would produce.
  • Most Terran Buildings in Starcraft.
    • In Starcraft II, Terrans may be getting a unit called the Thor, which is basically a base on legs.
    • Then there's also the joke unit Terra-Tron, which is quite literally a base on legs. (It's formed by combining every building in the base into a giant robot.)
  • Supreme Commander has the Fatboy experimental unit. It's as large as several city blocks and can quickly produce most ground units while (not) firing away with its twelve gauss cannons, two riot guns, four railguns and torpedo launcher.
  • Classic PC-game Transarctica casts you as the commander of a Cool Train-Base in an ice-covered After the End world. As you expand your train, it will come to include everything from troop transports, luxury-cars for spies, heavy weapons for anti-train combat, a huge drill on the front, and of course the Mammoth transport cars. No, not some kind of tank or mech called a Mammoth, literal, woolly, betrunked Mammoths, used as beasts of burden.
  • Shin Megami Tensei Strange Journey - Your main base of operations is practically a Base on Wheels. It's capable of flying, but mostly it rolls around on its huge wheels, so it qualifies more for this trope than Cool Airship. It's got sickbays, laboratories, and all sorts of other doo-dads necessary for analyzing world-destroying vortexes.
  • Most likely what the Train would be in Red Dead Redemption if it was present in Multiplayer.
  • In Megaman Zero 4, the resistance uses a convoy of moving vans as a mobile base when they need to make a long trip away from their usual base.
  • In Garden Gnome Carnage, the player controls an apartment building mounted on wheels.

Western Animation

  • Invader Zim: Zim's house becomes a Base On Wheels when GIR becomes the computer AI.
    • Though the Tallest have immobile seats of power in the Irken Empire, the Massive, their flagship, seems to be their main throne.
  • Metalocalypse: Dethklok's tour bus qualifies as one of these. It takes up the entire road and has a large lavishly furnished room inside with both a hot tub and a two story tall fireplace with a balcony across it.
  • The Technodrome in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Powering the Technodrome was frequently a sub-plot to the enemy's motives and it spent a lot of the series stuck in inconvenient places.
  • Transformers:
    • Metroplex, the Transformer who doubles as a massive mobile city.
    • Also, Trypticon, who is less a Base On Wheels and more a Base On Legs, as he transforms from a city into a giant robot dinosaur.[1]
    • Megatron's constant energy-stealing in Transformers Robots in Disguise wasn't so he could power his doomsday base so he could destroy the Autobots, but simply so he could keep it moving around so the Autobots wouldn't find it. One wonders why he bothered with it in the first place.
  • The Big Bad of Wakfu has one. Guess what it's shaped like. Come on, guess what the time guy's fortress is shaped like.
  • Since Daibazaal was destroyed in the backstory of Voltron: Legendary Defender, Zarkon ran the Galra Empire from his truly massive command ship.

Real Life

  • A typical example of an armed train would be the German setup for hauling the giant Krupp K5 280mm railway guns; each battery had three trains. The staff train would comprise around 34 cars including two locomotives, the whole train being over twelve hundred feet long and including a field kitchen, flatbed cars for vehicles, AA guns, an equipment car, generators, and even a mobile workshop. The gun trains were a little shy of a thousand feet long and had 23 or 24 cars including two locomotives, and included the K5 guns themselves, cranes and parts to build turntables for the guns to be mounted on, three boxcars of ammunition and more AA guns. The shorter gun train had two boxcars dedicated to the battery's armourer, the longer an extra passenger car and a wagon of food.
  • Projekt NM was a "mobile coastal battery" consisting of three Tiger tanks with their turrets mounted on a giant I-beam girder frame with a false wooden building on top, with the whole thing placed on top of their hulls which would drive the bizarre contraption around. It never got off the drawing boards.
  • Those Wacky Nazis had plans to create versions of their heavy railway guns that ran on tank treads; the one the came closest to actually happening involved the 210-ton Krupp K5 guns, of which there were 25 by the end of the war. The plan was to replace the two rail cars with modified King Tiger hulls. Far more ridiculous was a similar plan to make a self-propelled variant of the 1,400-ton Schwerer Gustav ultragun, which was supposedly on the drawing boards when Albert Speer found out and made the engineers involved go and work on something sensible.
  • On a smaller scale, Hitler's first headquarters was a train. It was fifteen cars long and required two engines working in tandem. Part of the reason Hitler initially opted for a train was that if France decided to attack the German border during the invasion of Poland, they could quickly transfer the command staff to the west.
  • Perhaps the ultimate Base on Wheels would have been the "Midgard-Schlange," a proposal made by German designers in the 1930s for a 60,000 ton armoured train the better part of two thousand feet long, which would run on tank treads and could drill underground or run on the bottom of the sea. It would supposedly have been used to drill under fortifications and set huge explosive charges to destroy them. The project never seems to have passed the "asking for funding" stage, though it says a lot about Nazi Germany that this was due to lack of resources and manpower rather than, say, because it was an utterly fucking ridiculous idea.
  • Armoured trains were used by the Russians and Germans during the Second World War to deter vehicles and infantry from attacking vital rail lines; they had purpose-built armoured wagons and sometimes armoured locomotives, and their armament included machine guns, AA guns in armoured enclosures, artillery guns, and even surplus tank turrets. The armoured trains only got bigger, stronger and meaner as the war went on; perhaps the ultimate example was when the Allies found three Panzerjäger-Triebwagen wagons (51-53) in a German factory after the war ended, each essentially being a heavily armoured mobile bunker equipped with a pair of Panzer IV turrets.
  • While the missile train in Goldeneye might have been over the top, the concept of a missile train is one based on Real Life:
    • The earliest examples were the German prototypes for a train-launched A4 (ie V2) missile. These were extensively tested but ultimately abandoned after it became clear Allied air superiority would make them unworkable. Most V2 missiles were still moved from the factory to their launch sites by train, however.
    • In the USA, the LGM-118A Peacekeeper, initially known as the "MX missile", was proposed to be deployed by a "rail garrison" system whereby 25 trains, each with two missiles (up to 10 warheads), would use the national railroad system to conceal themselves. When the Cold War ended, this was deemed too expensive and the missiles were stuck in silos.
    • 56 RT-23 Molodets/SS-24 "Scalpel" Soviet and later Russian missiles were rail-based. A typical set of missile launch trains were comprised of two locomotives, followed by generating power car, command car, two support cars, and three missile launch vehicles, with a total of nine-car train set. All of them are reportedly now decommissioned.
  • The world's heaviest truck is the Liebherr T282B mining truck, a giant dump truck 50 feet long, 26 feet tall and 22 feet wide, weighing in at 224 tons empty and with a maximum operating weight of 653 tons. With 3,650 horsepower from an 11.5 ton engine, this monstrosity can still manage a respectable 40 miles per hour.
  • Since at least the Apollo era, NASA has relied on one of two diesel-electric Crawler-Transporters, several stories in height, to transport the vehicle assembly from the Assembly building to the launch pad; these are the largest self-propelled vehicles in the world, weighing 2,400 tons. They require their own path that is 7 feet thick (largely due to having a tiny tread area relative to their size) and move at a top speed of two miles per hour, though they can only manage one with a shuttle on top.
  • Bucket-wheel excavators are the largest mobile objects on Earth, though they cannot move under their own power and require an external generator to supply electricity. The biggest, Bagger 293, requires 17 megawatts of power and weighs in at 14,200 tons - almost 50% heavier than a Ticonderoga-class cruiser; in one day, either Bagger excavator can strip enough material to fill 2,400 coal wagons. They only move at 0.4 miles per hour, but their ground pressure is just 24.8 PSI: that's significantly less than a car.
  • The French "Bulldozer King," Edmond Nussbaumer, has built a three-story, 200 ton home on top of an enormous bulldozer. It even has a 360 degree rotating platform.
  • Though not usually military, some people do live out of their vehicles for significant periods of time, or even indefinitely. Their standards of living tend to vary, depending on the size and quality of the vehicle.
  1. There are actually several city-robots in the original Transformers continuity, although no more have shown up since.