I have a hard time getting the icing smooth on the sides of the cakes I do. I can get the top really well, but not the sides. Please check my photos to see both the round cakes that I have done recently to see what I mean. What can I do better?
Melvira that bad boy!!
Cake on turntable .... roller against cake ... give turntable a big spin .... Boom!! you got smooth icing!
I think your cakes look great, you're being too hard on yourself. (we all do that to ourselves)
I've never used that type of BC before, but, what I've found that helps me is having the right tools. I went to Lowes and purchased a bunch of plastic and metal scrapers (from the paint aisle) They really work well.
I place the tier on a turntable, put the edge of the scraper on the cakeboard at the bottom of the tier as a guide and just slowly turn the turntable and the scraper will glide along the side of the cake. Use light pressure so as not to remove a lot of the icing. I use a 6'' or longer scraper.
Add or remove icing as needed.
There are some good youtube videos out there if you do a google search for "smoothing buttercream", they'll show up.