I make this entry, because i want to advertise for the great 3D Ripper DX by Roman Lut.
If you ever wanted to know, how great artists modeled their stuff in the big game titles, just use this tool and make 3D screenshots.
Believe me its VERY interesting, and you mind get some insight or inspiration on how to model things for yourself in future!
just go to this site, and then download it. you will start the program right before you start your game. then play until you want to make a screenshot, press the capture shortcut, you set before, and find all mesh and texture data in your 3dripper folder, you also set before.
there are importer plugins for the 3dsmax 2009-11 and also for maya i think.
for sure the shading wont ever look like in the engine, but for technical research its just amazing!
so go for it!