Help with efficient modeling.

I am trying to model this to import into skyrim:

I Have it looking alright, but the polygons are a mess on the staffs head, making it hard to uv unwrap, what tips would anybody have to model a solid object with holes in it like the head of the staff, and how to uv unwrap it so i can texture it. please bear with me i am fairly new to 3d modeling.

Use the picture as a background image. Then, add a circle and size it to match the head of the staff. From there, you can intrude the circle, then the vertices taht you need, one by one. You can also work with the mirror modifier to make it more precise.

If your issue is just UV Unwrapping it, you can try Project from View.

Just go into front view or whatever - select all the faces you want to unwrap, and hit U -> Project from View. It should unwrap but keep the shape. So in your case, select all the front faces of the staff head, and project from view on those. In the UV Editor, Pin them (p key). Then unwrap the back side of the staff head. Rinse and repeat for the whole model.

Couldn’t find a good tutorial explaining it but you can see it here:

I don’t see any way around using a lot seems on the head. Seaming around the outside of the front and back and one from front to back in each of the openings. It’s going to be a lot of pieces but it’ll prevent distortions if you want to paint in some detail for bump mapping. It looks nice BTW.

How you approach this really depends on what you want to do with it. Do you want low poly model. Why UV? Do you want lots of texture on it?

Here is my quick work over of a mesh as maverick suggested. It is recommended that you layout the mesh manually. Mesh structure is always a headache you know. I just draw it out. It is little complex but with Blender tools, it is not that difficult to build: