In this endeavor there is no loss or diminution, and a little advancement on this path can protect one from the most dangerous type of fear." (Bg. 2.40) If one reads Bhagavad-gita sincerely and seriously, then all of the reactions of his past misdeeds will not react upon him.
A different way of using feathers, in a layered pattern that looks like scales. I wonder about those plastic scales I was thinking of making shrinky-dink style, I bet that could be used with a bit more heat application to mold them.