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First I would to thank both david and pete for the great help they have been.[/quote:06b305e282]
No problem mate, thats what the Content boards are for

So onto the questions, do you think it is better to do a whole face unwrap like using the spherical or cylindrical methods or breaking pieces off and doing them individually and then reattaching them? should I use pelt mapping instead of the normal mapping techniques? [/quote:06b305e282]

I always use the break apart and re-attach method, resulting seams can be welded back together in the UVW Unwrap editor later. I don’t bother with pelt-mapping, especially with heads. My advice is find an approach that works for you (Jaysus I sound like Dr. Phil!) and develop that technique to work for organic or inorganic models.

How do you flip the UVs?[/quote:06b305e282]
In the Unwrap UVW editor there is an option to "flip horizontal" or "mirror horizontal" in the Tools menu.

Do you know how to select a row of verts, rather than select them one at a time, like edge loop or some such?[/quote:06b305e282]
What David said. One tool you NEED in your unwrapping arsenal is UnwrapTools by Steve Johnson, you should find it on http://www.scriptspot.com. It really helps with alignment of UVs

You say keep the seams vertical in the extreme right and left do these have to be straight?[/quote:06b305e282]
For best results, if the line of symmetry in your model is a vertical row of edges, try and keep them straight in your UV unwrap.

I thought the aim was to try and get everything straight and in lines and make the checker pattern even throughout[/quote:06b305e282]
Its important that the checkers be distributed evenly over your model, to reduce stretching and distortion when painting a texture in Photoshop. This is less important if you plan on using Render To Texture to bake out textures or lighting info into a map.

Good luck, unwrapping can be tricky to get yer head around but once you nail it you’ll never look back