Just use a simple model to do your testing. I started seriously trying to learn maya at the begining of this year. This is a Test Clip
I created, while trying to learn Maya Live. A simple model is going to be easier and quicker to render out.
I don't know how many people would be willing to part with there models. I could be wrong. I'm working on a spitfire at the moment but I also need to make some German models.