Scale-mail probably won't work for this-- the manner in which the scales lay is the effect you want, but since the scales on regular scale-mail are all attached by rings, you wouldn't be able to do that with feathers.
Zentai and airbrushing sounds like it might be effective!
DeviantART // Tumblr // Facebook // Instagram // YouTube
- Uniform (Little Witch Academia): ??% (Designing) Ellicott City 2017
- Paladin Armor Shiro (Voltron: Legendary Defender): ??% (Planning) ????
- Leo (FE: Fates) : ??% (Wig Styling) ????