On Agri-Worlds and Mining Worlds or any planet whose economy and tithes lay upon the foundation of agriculture, raw foodstuff and raw resources, large machines are used to harvest the annual crop/minerals in bulk. In equal to their space counterparts in terms of importance, these vessels are extremely important machines meant for the survival of entire planetary systems. They come from all shapes and sizes, with the smallest ones dwarfing Titans in scale.
Looking like a drunken three-way between a Combine Harvester, a grain silo and a food processing plant. The Mega-Harvester was first mentioned in the Short Story, Our Lord on Terra, however, they made their first appearance in the Papa Smurf: Origins Comic as a mobile factory plant, on threads. At 54.8 meters wide, its large size and multi-use capability of its whirring autoblades of its slash-threshers allow these vehicles to essentially harvest, process and manufacture foodstuff all in one compact and mobile platform.
Their separator discs then ensure that only the grain is placed into three immense hoppers that make up the bulk of the Mega-Harvester's rears. Each hopper is capable of holding five hundred tons of grain and any non-grain material collected, is expelled through the Mega-Harvester's rear ejectors. This is done with enough force, that anyone standing behind the vehicles can be seriously injured by the impact. On Nova Thulium, Grain Harvesters were a standard vessel used to reap the yearly crops to feed neighbouring Hive World, Ardium. This allows the Imperium to easily reduce vulnerable strategic supply chains and cheapens the cost of maintenance on roads, electric cables and other forms of immobile structures in conventional farmlands.
It also allows for mass harvesting of crop yield on the ton, quickly shortening the harvest period by a significant fraction, whilst the smaller Land Crawlers would assist in reaping small patches of crops that were missed from these ECKS BAWKS HUEG vessels. The Mega-Harvesters can be manually steered within the vehicles' control cabins or they can be set upon pre-determined routes. They are also armed with Harpoon Launchers and crude Rotor Cannons, to ward off potential attacks.
There is a catch, however. Because it is a Combine Harvester, a grain silo and a food processing plant all in one neat package, they are a vulnerable target for marauders and pirates. You disable one of these machines and there goes an 8th of the entire planet's food production. In the comics, Papa Smurf witnessed an example of one of these ships being thoroughly krumped by Chaos Cultists before intervening and saving the machine from further harm.
- Height: 38.4m
- Width: 54.8m
- Length: 60.3m
- Mass: 60-70 kilotonnes; approx
- Crew: 400-500 crew; approx
- Max Speed: 2-8kph; approx
Deep-Miners are massive tracked Imperial vehicles, the size of hab-blocks, which are used to drill resources from beneath a world's surface, akin to a modern-day open-pit Bucket-Wheeled Excavator. In a sense, they are a catch-all term for any civilian mining vessel in the Imperium.
They were created before the rise of the Emperor, but are now used by the Imperium and each contain large clan populations. Those who live aboard them can live out their entire lives without ever leaving the vehicles and as a result, a Deep-miner's population is very insular. So kind of like the miniature version of a Mobile Hiveships.
They only need to make contact with Imperial authorities when the vehicles' tanks are full of resources, in order to trade for fresh food, clean water and other necessities. Due to their age and advanced technological construction, the Adeptus Mechanicus has asked that any Imperial forces invading a Deep-miner should try to do as little damage as possible to the remarkable vehicles.
A few folks have attempted to kitbashed a vehicle along the lines of the Deep-Miner as can be shown below. Bucket-Wheeled Excavators were also briefly shown in the teaser trailer of The Lord Inquisitor as shown to the right, but whether it is a Deep-Miner, we may never know since it has been shelved indefinitely.
Also, how big these vehicles are meant to be is unknown since the term 'hab-block' could mean anything, from single three-story buildings to skyscraper-sized spires. But seeing as how it is large enough to contain an entire 'clan' to house a self-sustaining population, the sheer complexity of its design to warrant a 'no touch'-list for the AdMech, and that modern IRL bucket-wheel excavators are already reaching scale of what 40k would classify as a 'titan', (Bagger 293, record holder for largest land machine, is 225 meters long and 96 meters tall. That's taller then a warhound and longer then an Emperor titan is tall) we can speculate that it is on the larger end of the scale.
- Height: 100-200m; approx
- Length: 300-400m; approx
- Mass: 100-300 kilotonnes; approx
- Crew: 3,000-9,000 crew; approx
- Max Speed: 2-8kph; approx
Credits to Dakkite Saw.