Can't seem to get the seams on this shape right!

Hi everyone,

I’ve spent the last few hours trying to find a solution to this problem, but I’m having absolutely no luck so I’ve decided to turn directly to people who know what they’re doing.

First of all, I’m still very new to 3D modeling. I’m currently working on the “Creating Game Weapons in Zbrush/Maya” tutorial at Digital Tutors, but I’m using Blender instead of Maya. Everything was going well until I hit a roadblock adding a texture to a UV map. The problem is that I wasn’t able to unwrap the handle on my warhammer like in the tutorial, and it’s coming back to bite me in the butt when applying textures in Zbrush. Here’s how it’s supposed to look in Maya:


Here’s the best I’m able to do in Blender:


or


As you can see, I can’t quite get the handle to unwrap correctly lengthwise. My goal is to have the stretched parts in the 2nd image be at the “top” of the UV mapping, almost as if everything is 90 degrees clockwise (so when I select faces along the top row of the UV map I’m selecting the faces which correspond to the protruding part of the handle).

I am completely stumped here! Help a newbie?

edit:

What I ended up doing was hiding the end caps and the cylindrical part of the handle then unwrapping the cylindrical projection of the remaining faces. That gave me a straightened projection to work with, but it still would have required a lot of manual adjustments. Then I unwrapped the faces again using follow active quads, which laid everything out neatly and nicely in boxes. Then I scaled this projection down and manually welded the vertices together. Here’s the result: http://i.imgur.com/NtwIW4r.png.

I wonder if there was a simpler way to do it, though. It feels like I unnecessarily jumped through a ton of hoops.