I am in the process of restoring this GG1 and need you suggestions of what to do about the gold stripes? The photos make them look better than they are in reality.
Should I put decals on exactly over top of what is there now??.... if decals don't work out they should be removable
I have restored a number of Post War engines but never a GG1. If I were doing this I would first try and remove the stripes. Its unlikely either decals or dry transfers will line up exactly with the existing stripes. Given how uneven the surface is with the doors and grill, decals will be a challange to get them to lay flat. Then there is the decal film to hide. Transfers might be a better choice here. The catch is they have to be fresh or they will crack and break before you get them all down. This is one time I might send this to a pro that can pad print it but only if it had a lot of sentimental value as they can be pretty pricey. J&A Hobbie sells transfers, I think Jef Kane at ttender.com has decals. Len Carparelli does restos. http://www.llmodeltrain.com
According to Doyle's Postwar book, it says that the stripes were rubber stamped. I can't guarantee that it is correct. Rubber stamping for that length and multiple stripes would be darn near impossible to come up with a satisfactory finish. Is your restoration, to make it look like new, as it was issued. If that is the end result you want to achieve, then I would take Norton's suggestion. Bite the bullet, and contact Len Carparelli, at the link he showed in his post. His work is beyond excellent, and the stripes will more than likely be silk screened. He does not use decals or dry transfers, except where a particular item was decal, like on the nose with the Herald. You have to decide how far you want to go, to achieve the result you want.
If nothing else, at least check out the link and see for yourself. Then make your decision.
Here are photos of the BEFORE and AFTER FINAL ASSEMBLY. Yes it is not perfect and should have a clear coat but that makes the decal more permanent. Looks much better than when I bought it as it was in rough shape, I have no photos of that state. Thanks much to http://http://kenslionelrestoration.com/index.html for all the assistance.