If you are using Version 7, then try this.
Go to WINDOW and then select SETTINGS/PREFERENCES and then PLUG-IN MANAGER. The look for the BONUS TOOLS PLUG-INS and you will see 3dsimport.mll. Select LOADED and AUTO LOAD.
Go to FILE IMPORT and click on the little box. Under FILE TYPE select 3DS.
I have a feeling you will be disappointed once you import the model.
But this should work.
Challenge me and I will try. Because If I should fail, failure also has a prize (Knowledge).