Scales question


Howdy peoples, I am working on an adaptation of the Green Ranger involving a scaled armor look. The size scales I plan on working with measure roughly 1/2" long my 1/4" wide. Currently I am cutting out each scale individually and placing them on my armor piece. They plan is after this is all placed the piece will be molded off of for the final piece. My question is, Is there a faster way that you all can think of of getting this 3D scale effect without having to cut out a bazzilion scales? I thought of stamping a master scale in clay and casting a bunch but cleaning up each scale would probably take just as long. Any thoughts? And yes I used the search button here. :D
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