This is what I've got so far. 23.75" bill to tail. Vertical flutes still allow bills and tails to be bent, but help keep the neck a bit more bend resistant. I might try finding some spring steel rod to insert in these areas. I'm still not sure about the shine. I sanded the whole thing with 80 grit. Then I dusted it with flat black primer. Then applied the white. I don't think the black primer helped alleviate any of the sheen.