Pathfinders and shape modes in Adobe Illustrator are an important feature. If once you start to feel comfortable with them you’ll find them pretty handy for drawing all kinds of complex objects. Before you start drawing the shape of your object you should first analyze it. Look for geometric shapes within the object’s shape. Which shapes can be used to create your final object? Look for pkaces where you can use the ellipse or the rectangle tool. Most pathfinders delete objects, so have in mind to make additional duplicates. I found a great link (click here) with video explanation of the different pathfinders.I'll post more stuff about pathfinders and shapes pretty soon.