Apologies, hilarious was the wrong word. However, for the vast majority of the time this game has existed, there have always been things that lack models yet have rules. This isn’t a shocking new development that Forge World has just now inflicted.
Back in the previous Necromunda, you had equipment lists, but each model was metal with set equipment. Want your Orlock Gang Leader to have a different gun? Gotta convert. I do understand that it can suck to not have stock models, though. Still waiting for GW to release a Grotesque that doesn’t look like he’s tap-dancing.
Yeah, I know what you mean. In Necro '95 there was certainly stuff that lacked models. Bull Gorg is the most obvious, but there were weapon options and combinations that couldn't be done without conversion because like you say, they were metal.
The difference isn't that conversion opportunities exist, or that they're needed to create some loadouts. What really gets to me (and many other players going from what I read on Reddit, Yaktribe, Facebook and hear about in my local group) is the amount of models that don't exist, yet have rules. In Necro '95 we had weapon combinations and one Dramatis Personae that didn't have models. In Necro '17 we have 62 (not including this weekend's pre-orders) various exotic beasts, brutes, hangers on, dramatis personae, guild and criminal alliance choices that don't have models. That's being generous, I didn't include stuff that has possible model options but no proper release like generic bounty hunters/scum, cyber-mastiffs (Makula), gyrinx (Yvrainne), servo-skulls (lots of choices), iron-automata (Blackstone Fortress) etc. Nor did I include Venators, Chaos Cult or Genestealer Cult, as they can be made from other ranges (or in the case of Venators, mixing various Necro models). II also didn't include any weapon options beyond what the basic models are armed with, or anything like the murder cyborg, guild agent etc that are scenario specific. So those 62 missing models is just the basics.
We still have lots of options for converting outside of those 62 missing models, when you take into account the massive amount of weapon and gear options, Chaos corruption, Genestealer infestation, scenario pieces etc, which is easily more than all the stuff that needed converting in Necro '95. Whatever way you look at it, Necro '95 had most of the bases covered. Bull Gorg was the only thing that didn't have a model outside of weapon options. Compared to the 62 missing models for Necro '17, it's easy to see why people are pissed (although I'm sure some 3rd party sculptors are loving it).
For a while now instead of spending some time catching up, they've been just adding more and more new stuff, most of which has no model support. New gangs, new campaigns, new exotic beasts, new hired guns and new hangers on. And the only models FW would make were bounty hunters. With the exception of the lone sumpkroc and some concept art, everything that wasn't a bounty hunter was ignored. Hopefully with the Goliath 'Zerker and Guild of Chains models, that's now beginning to change.
I should also probably say I see this mostly as a FW problem. GW main have been pretty good at covering their side of things.
tldr: I agree that Necro has always been a game that's encouraged conversions. The difference between the past and now is that in the past conversions were just for different weapon load outs (and Bull Gorg), where as now it's massive amounts of basic options across the various books on top of weapon loadouts.