Individual Snake Scales

Hey all! I want to create individual scales for a snake model. I need them to be at least individual instances so once all the scales are in place I can go in an add details to about half of them. I made an individual scale and tried using it to lay them down one by one and honestly it’s a nightmare because there are so many, the orientation changes to follow the snake’s body, etc. Simply using a scale brush is also not an option as in some spots I want to create holes in a scale so you can see the snake’s “skin” through it. Further, the brush approach doesn’t provide the crisp, slightly exaggerated look I want.

I’ve tried using a Radial as well but it never seems to work the way I need it to. Has anyone any ideas about how to do this? The snake’s body is coiled up a bit in almost a figure 8, so I know I will have to go in at the end to also fix some overlapping issues but yeah - it would be such a time saver if I could find a way to attach or align all of the scales at once into the snake form.

Draw a scale, position it & add a curve repeater, increase the count so until you get the correct density. Repeat a number of times around the body and you should get there

Mabe this helps: