--Originally Posted 11/7/12--
Again to start off: another inspirational pic or two - this time from the port side:
Click on Image for FULL-RES
This pic of Telemachus, annotated "Melbourne, Australia, 12/17/49", shows a perhaps slightly beefier attachment for the forward planes, compared to earlier WWII fits, but otherwise appearing the same as T(3) boats already seen in wartime. Unique to the port-side, just ahead of the diving plane is the anchor well, shielded by a narrow hood - seen better in the following:
Click on Image to Enlarge
This pic of Trespasser on 9/23/42 - undoubtedly in a UK anchorage - glimpses the base of her anchor, tucked up under its hood. Note also both these pics reveal the same kind of see-through grating that separates the bow external torpedo tubes, also separates the uppermost pair (at least) of standard tubes, at the waterline below.
Anyway, to get to our second conversion idea: the Encore 400-scale Soviet D-class is another mold having significant commonality with the desired T(3), while being readily available (from several manufacturers) and exceedingly inexpensive:
Click on Image to Enlarge
Again, I used an orthorgraphic photo of the kit hull, at top, to correct Encore's drawing - substantially again at the bow, it turned out - in a graphic comparison with the T(3), at bottom. Again resizing the D-class to optimize the match at the stern - now not quite as good as for the RN U-class examined earlier
, but still quite decent - a very short insert really should be added aft, as well as a more substantial - though simple tubular - one amidships. Likewise, the foundation for the sail, though still certainly useable, is not quite as close as with the U-class - while the bow will again need significant augmentation. Once again, saddle tanks have to be added wholesale - as now does essentially the entire top casing, as well.
The best feature is again that the finished length of 8.51" makes for a model 80% larger than 700-scale - 1:390; essentially indistinguishable from 400-scale - though again a rigorous match could be made by minute compression (2.5%) back down to 8.3" LOA. While this is the smallest-scale conversion so far, to back it clear down to 500-scale (and compatibility with the classic Nichimo IJN ships) would still require a whopping 22% reduction (to 6.64", LOA) - however, personally I still might be game to try it!
Still, most modellers would probably opt for the easily-done enlargement (shimming and lengthening 11.4%) to 1:350, at 9.49" LOA - and 100% compatibility with all the newer ships of that scale.
So this is another quite viable conversion option - the best, if you are targeting 400-scale - especially if you don't have a line on the Mirage U-class kit, but can snag one of these Encores for little or nothing (like I did