Whether you're an animator working on a game or special effects artist working on your newest video, there are times when deadlines are short, and you really need the 3D model of an aircraft made. In these cases it can sometimes be more economical to buy a premade model than to hire a 3D modeler to create it from scratch. In this article I'll show you some of the most popular places to find meshes online.
Renderosity is one of the largest marketplace for 3D models. They specialize in Poser items, although they also have items for Vue and other programs. Even though they are made for Poser however, these models can usually be exported to other software pretty easily, as long as you have Poser.
One big advantage of a store like this is that models are typically very inexpensive. However, the license can be somewhat restrictive. Basically, you can use these products to create images or animations, but you are not allowed to redistribute the models themselves.
DAZ 3D is the company behind DAZ Studio, but they also have a marketplace very similar to Renderosity. They compete on that front, and most models will be of similar price. If you often want to buy from them, they also offer a membership option which will reduce the prices greatly.
Just like Renderosity however, the license restricts you to images and animations. However, they recently introduced a new program for game makers, providing some of the same models at higher price but with a broader license.
TurboSquid is probably the most popular source of 3D models. From there you can browse categories and buy models. They have some free ones, but most at least require a small cost. Unlike the previous options however, the models from TurboSquid typically come in many formats like OBJ or 3DS MAX. Also, the license usually allows full use of the model, including for game creation.
Because of that, models from TurboSquid can be more expensive than the previous sites, but the convenience and licensing options warrant that.
ShareCG is a site for free models. Almost everything there is free. While there'll obviously be some lower quality products, if you dig enough you'll find some very nice free gems. The licenses on this site can vary greatly, so make sure you read the one for each download.
The site also offers other items such as tutorials and places to share your art.
This one is a bonus item. It's not a site for 3D models, but instead textures. Once you have your model, you probably will need to tweak the textures. Now you can find royalty free images at many places on the Internet, but I've always liked this site. They provide a huge quantity of textures, everything from bricks, stones, metals, wood and water, and their images are in large resolution.