I made some time today to airbrush the base colours. This photo doesn't capture it well but the blue goes from almost white to almost black to create a sharp visual contrast and give the impression of gloss.
I then taped up the blue neck scales to protect them.
Using my inspiration photos as a guide I went for a deep brown on the scales.
Strong contrast on the face will help draw the eye to the important part of the model and away from the display plinth.
You can see in this pic how the scales fade slowly to black at the base of the neck to help draw the eye forward to the face. I will add additional contrast by hand in the next steps.