When Lionel cataloged the 6-18052 Torpedo, they had an image of it with the cast- in stripes being chrome much like the "Pennsylvania" and "238e" nameplates are. However, they weren't able to paint/ add these stripes due to QC issues, as noted on an apology letter in the box. There's even one of these prototype engines for sale on our favorite auction site.
After looking at the locomotive as cataloged, I decided I wanted to add these stripes. If painting them on was too hard for Lionel QC, I thought I wouldn't take my chances. With the cast- in stripes being raised very high, it would look sloppy if it wasn't 100% consistent. For this reason, I decided to take the paint off showing the polished zamac underneath.
I masked around each stripe and sanded the layer of paint off, smoothing out the scratches with finer grit sandpaper. After some metal polish, I think the stripes look very good. They add to the character of the model considerably, and show what could have been back in 1997.
I hope some of you with these torpedoes might be inspired to do this yourself, as it's a worthwhile improvement, assuming you aren't a modification purist. Let me know what you think.