A real TD had a radiator behind the grille shell.
I am familiar with the cost and availability of a chrome grille shell. A few years ago they became no longer available from the MG “Repro” vendors. I had mine re-chromed in 2005 and it’s still in the wrapping.
The way you describe your plans looks cool in my opinion, the grille shell the same color as the body with chrome slats. I am a street rodder and it smacks of ’32 Ford. Some guys are powder coating the earlier Ford grille shells (Models A & T) the same color as the body. It looks great.
Good luck and keep us posted.