yeah, I agree with you on the lever action to wind and I tried that on 3 and the 6's. The wind handle on the others does lack that feeling of power and speed, more like winding an old gramophone For me it's probably and toss between 2 (with the above modification) and 6a. 2 looks more mechanical, heavy and suited for a human and I'd say 6a is more elegant and designed with an elven aesthetic.
Lol yeah, plus with the proper pulley system you can make it a lever action like the old Daisy air rifle and certain shotguns. So is it supposed to be a fully automatic deal or just a quick-reload (semi-automatic)?
It's supposed to be fully automatic. There's heavy flywheels on 2, 3, 4 and the 6's. On 2 and 4 it's just in front of the crank handle, on 3 it's slung underneath, mounted in-line and behind the bolt magazine and it's quite clear on the 6's as the circular component towards the front. The idea is that the user would crank up the momentum in the flywheel and then fire a stream of bolts but engaging a clutch. It is totally a fantasy piece and if it were to work (which I doubt) it would be cumbersome and inefficient, otherwise me would have know about them.
Unfortunately that would be changing the weapon away from it's original brief. The idea is for a large, strong chap to lug this about much in the way you see the hero's in films wheedling heavy, over sized weapons. He would be slow and awkward but powerful and effective. The weapon you describe could possibly be a separate design? I would see that more with a crew of two. One to aim and fire and another to crank and reload the next string of bolts. One variant could even be mounted on wheels. Less powerful than a cannon but quicker and nimbler.
Suggestion: placing bolt magazine on the sides (as in 2a, 4, 6 a&b) might change weight balance of weapon and lead to decreased accuracy. Placing it in the middle, below the crossbow not only doesn't affect balance, but also lowers weapons weight center which can reduce recoil/increase stability