And here's the reason why:
My new durathene brayer, which I should have got in the first place but being broke I got a rubber one which wasn't good enough for engravings. (I'll keep it though for when I get around to woodcuts). Now I'm getting more even inking and much less frustration.
Now to play! I've not tried faces in wood engraving yet, so I thought I'd have an experiment: This block is tiny at 1.5"x1 1.2" max.
First proof, looking to see what marks do what to the facial planes.
Then a bit more cutting and to show up the cuts more on block I've rubbed a little talc into the surface. (It'll all be brushed out before printing). Almost there I think. I shall print tomorrow.