I stumbled onto a new 3D animation product website that also has a marketplace for 3D models. The product is DAZ 3D and their site is daz3d.com. It looks like the software uses preexisting models and provides an interface for animating those models. But I was more interested in the model marketplace, which are provided without any restrictions for use.
There are a few models that are priced at $0.00. That’s free! Unfortunately, the site’s search features make it very difficult to find the full list of free models. However, I did find two model sets that are pretty cool, both of which are for cityscape buildings. The models are in LWO format (the native LightWave object format) and include textures.
Another good 3D model marketplace is TurboSquid, which has much better search features than DAZ 3D. TurboSquid also has a semi-secret way of filtering for only the free models: filter by price and set the min and max values to “0”. The only downside to TurboSquid is that a lot of the models are only available in 3DS Max format, which is proprietary and cannot be opened by LightWave or Blender.