Cosplayers were out in force during last fall's Destination Star Trek, but one Klingon really stuck out. The man known as 'Captain K'Bragh' (a British Trek fan who playfully declined to share his real name) rocked a General Martok costume so convincing it felt as though we were risking life and limb to talk to him about it! Grasping his bat'leth — which was made of foam, though you'd never know looking at it — the Martok cosplayer revealed that he'd purchased the main portion of the costume at a Star Trek Christie's auction several years back. He went on to add to his prize with elements found at additional auctions. His determination paid off, and he cosplay now consists of the robe, boots, disruptor and more that were actually used by J.G. Hertzler when he played Martok.
Here's what Captain K'Bragh had to say about his costume and love of Trek.
StarTrek.com: Take us through how you acquired and assembled this great costume.
Captain K'Bragh: We found out, really at the last minute, [that] they were doing the Christie's auction; the 40-year auction. So some friends and I went to the Christie's House and wanted to see about bidding, but the trouble is [that the auction] was in America. Then we found out it can be done online. We all gathered up in the house and went online, and we went through the catalog, and thought, "Great, I'll get this. I'll get this. I'll get that." Then things starting being sold and I thought we need to revise what I was actually going to buy.
Everything was going way above estimate.
CK: Yes, exactly. It started off like three times the maximum estimate, and it was heading up towards 10 times. So, my list was shortening rapidly. What I really wanted out of the whole lot was a Klingon outfit. This one came on, and this is actually General Martok's from Deep Space Nine. After some pretty heavy bidding with everybody, I was successful and won it.
Did it fit right away?
CK: Oh, yeah.
And have you ever met John (Hertzler)?
CK: Oh, a number of times. We actually met a few weeks ago. He needed to stay somewhere, so he stayed with us for a week, between conventions...
Where do you live?
CK: When I'm not on Qo'noS, [I'm in] West London.
How about the rest of the rest of the costume? Obviously, your beard is real, right?
CK: It's real, yeah. I used to have fake my one, but it kept falling off. This year being 50th of Star Trek, I grew the beard because it makes it easier for doing the makeup. And the chargers, the tunic, the sash and the disruptor holder are all real props, but not actually the disruptor. The robe actually wasn't part of that Christie's auction. It was one of his robes that was [sold] through a different auction. They were selling odd stuff, so I got that one.
How often do you attend conventions in this costume?
CK: Not often as enough. I would like to do more conventions. The thing is, it needs really a lot of Star Trek people [in attendance] to [peak] interest. At home I've actually built myself a Klingon bridge, full-size. So I've got that, too. I would like to bring it here, but they have their own Klingon Bridge.
Look at the line behind us. There are probably 10 people waiting to take photos with you.
CK: It's brilliant. People see these costumes on TV, but to see the actual uniforms up close, in person, being worn? I think people get a lot of enjoyment out of it. I know that some people put their costumes and props behind glass, and I respect that, but there's something about wearing it and sharing it that I find very exciting.
This interview has been edited and condensed.