yea, you can remove the sling loops, they have a screw thing on it, so you can somply twist it off.
and a sudgestion about the painting thing, practice on a wal-mart crapsoft thing a few times, once you get a hang of it, than find a pattern you like, and do it!
also, just a realy stupid question, but is your name by any chance brandon? just wondering because he invited me over like a month ago and i brought my VSR over, and he bought one just to be who he is, a fruit. no awfence if your not who i think you are gabe_guitarded.