I had a few ideas for this round, but decided on a safe one instead. I've now painted five of these, it's one of my all time favourite miniatures.
I based the feathers on pheasant tails, then added other colours as glazes.
The freehand scale patterns are great fun. I've used this on many Lizardmen models before, but this is perhaps my best execution of it. I used screenshots from the recent Total War game as reference.
Another go with resin as water effects too, with the same tricky problems. I suppose it looks ok though.