To unwrap the robe, watch this video, you should be able to pickup the process really quick:
Mapping a vehicle/mechanical usually requires lots of planar mapping, you could still use pelt mapping...lots more work to setup the "seams".
I suggest you download chuggnut's unwrap tools too...
/To get this script to work you need to place it in your "UI\macroscripts" dir, the bitmap files need to go in "ui\icons". Now you'll notice that it replaces a default script. I can't alter this as the modifier calls this named script directly - so back up the original first. Next time you use the unwrapper it should magically appear on the upper right side of the main window. It will also knock you straight into subobject mode, so no more exiting from the unwraper when you click a face because you forgot to set sub object (you silly billy)
I want to be clear about this this time, as loads of people seemed to have trouble. Put uvtools_24i.tga into your "ui\icons" and delete uvtools_24i.bmp (not strictly needed as now I've added a date check on as well) and the script will build the proper icon file to match your background colour. If you ever change your background colour just delete the uvtools_24i.bmp file, and next time you start max the icons will match again. da da!/