Hi Kim, I'm hesitant to reply because I have not yet found the winning strategy with Orks in Kill Team yet. That's not to say they're bad, it's that I've been focusing on my Genestealer Cult and Deathwatch Primaris Kill Teams. It just means I don't have a good answer for Orks yet.
What I do know is, IMHO, just Boyz did not work well as planned. I mention this because, as a starting player, if forcing yourself to paint a lot of Orks is the hurdle (because you heard from other players that's what you have to do as Orks), then you can relax; I honestly think there are better solutions out there, just not sure what.
What I did was what I thought would be the conventional horde list: 1 Ork Nob as Leader, the rest as Ork Boyz, turns out to be 15 of them. I've had these Orks forever, just finally fielded them again. Because it's slightly harder to get into combat (in normal games you can move, then charge, but in Kill Team you just charge, so you cover less distance), they got shot up more. Then due to casualties, Orks have low morale and are more likely to Shaken. By the time 5 Orks were actually killed, the rest of the Kill Team were effectively frozen.
The learning was that the normal strategy of Orks...basically have a lot of Boyz, because conventional wisdom suggests Boyz before Toyz, didn't quite apply to Kill Team. In normal games, losing a third of an Ork Mob to shooting before it gets into combat isn't a big deal, in fact it's factored into "the cost of doing business" or "business as usual". Didn't quite apply here.
If I were to try this again, I'd maybe make a Kill Team of just Ork Nobz and Ork Burnaz. They come in boxes of 5 each, as a mini-project maybe I'd buy 1 of each, just so I can enjoy modeling and painting them. The concept is Ork Nobz bring melee and durability while Ork Burnaz bring auto-hit Flamers, and I'd have them work in tag teams. An enemy has to choose to shoot one or the other...and whichever they shoot, here comes the other guy. I don't know if that'd work, but I think that's better than the conventional all Boyz (+ some Nob) mini-horde.
By the way, looking forward to a full-scale army, I noticed in another post you have a very realistic assessment that you don't want to paint a horde. That's outstanding you know that in advance. I think being forced to paint Troops is what burns a lot of players out.
Just a little more than a year ago, I faced this hard truth myself. I actually looked to things I never considered, never even thought I would consider, by re-framing the question, what Troops would I be willing to paint? Ironically, that turned out to be Nurglings. I built that army up quickly and won an Armies On Parade event last year, painting a little under 1,000 points in about just 1 month. I never thought I could to that.
The biggest hurdle was realising I chose the wrong army. I wanted Iron Hands Space Marines or Orks. Nurgle was my true calling. I was as shocked as anyone.
I don't know if this is helpful, but perhaps this will be a springboard for new ideas. It happens Daemons are very easy to paint quickly and effortlessly, for example.