Complete newcomer to modelling.. where to start?

Don’t get me wrong- I am not trying to make you teach me everything right here right now. Trusting in your hospitality, I am just looking for some help to take the first step.

I have just started modding Company of Heroes in my leisure time- 8 days, in fact. All I did was basic tweaks and stuff, nothing special. But I am ambitious, and try to learn stuff. I figured that the mod needed some new units, so I need some new skins and models. Two options: I learn modelling and skinning and texturing and try my hand in them, or contact some people from GSM mod of Men of War and ask them kindly to have a couple of Russian tanks,* then *learn to do all these stuff. I will eventually learn though.

The thing is- I know nothing, literally. I could use some good guides; sorry for being lazy and asking it here but ever since I’ve begun modding, I have been digging the internet, over the dead community of Company of Heroes and I’m just tired, I don’t feel like digging even more. I will eventually begin digging again if I can’t get what I need from you guys, but I thought asking for help wouldn’t be bad either.

Fisrly, I need to know more about modelling softwares, and the differences between them. I need one of them first, obviously; If I get my hands on one, I could use trail and error and dig the internet, and slowly learn. But without one, and without the knowledge of how to get one, a good one, I can’t even take the first steps.

Then, I’d like to start learning importing/exporting models from game to game (example, MoW to CoH). Even though I know nearly nothing, My guess is it wouldn’t be that hard to learn.

After all of this, I’ll try my hand in skinning and texturing. I don’t expect to learn everything all of a sudden, but I want to have a start,but don’t know where to, and I think you guys might help me.

Thanks in advance, everything may help!