General help with models

Hi, I am a developer, but I am trying my hand at creating my own models for my current project. I have experience with jME2, but all of our models for that project were done by professionals. I am currently working in jME3

I currently have a few models (cars, trucks) that I would like to import, but I am having difficulty in understanding how I should go about the process. I would like for the player to be able to change the skin (Material) for the vehicle they chose in the game. I can use some generic material over the entire model, but then the windshield and tires are all the same color.

I have started picking up blender, and I guess my questions are…

Should I break the model into meshes (tires, mirrors, dash etc) and add materials in blender and then export? If so, how do I change mtl on the fly? ( and what is the suggested format? I have been using obj)


Is there some other way to skin the vehicle without applying the material to the windshield tires etc.

I am using some free models I found, but they are just one continuous model, although I am pretty confident I can break them apart into meshes, as I assume I will have to?

Thanks in advance.

Perhaps you can change the texture itself?

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