As a medium by itself, body-filler is not good for building structural elements. Body filler is simply a form of fiberglass, fine chopped, in a resin slurry. Like fiberglass, it uses a catalyst to harden. So in terms of smell, it's not all that different from fiberglassing. The problem with using body filler, is that the fiberglass chop has extremely short fibers, which does not contribute to strong and resilient construction. The medium is also denser, which translates to a much heavier weight overall.
Making a cardboard plug just slightly smaller than your intended form is one way. The other way, that i've experimented with, with my latest project, is a 3 step process involving making a male plug in exact dimensions of the final product out of structural foam, then making a plaster of paris female mold using the male plug. The plaster of paris mold is then fiberglassed with 2-3 layers of fiberglass, and then the plaster of paris mold is broken up from around the raw finished product. As you can guess, you get one chance at getting it right. It's a one use, destructive process. This is not a cheap process - i spent about $100.00 alone on molding and materials for building the raw final product.
It can be also messy as hell.
My suggestion - fiberglass, but to cut down on the odour, remove the curing fiberglass to the trunk of your car or whatever, and clean up real well, this will cut down on the indoor smell. I do my fiberglassing in the garage, so i know the stink - it permeates inside the house.
i'm going to try enamel paint, once my project is done, i'm getting closer to finished, just a long process to get the final project sanded, smoothed down and ready to paint.
My fiberglassed console, about two months ago, just after removal from the plaster of paris mold and rough trim down. Progress on sand down and final finish is considerably closer to done, than this old photo indicates.