OK so I discovered that it only happens if I have anti-aliasing set to Disabled when I load the game. In the alt-f12 console I also get the message "Error: Invalid antiAliasing value (must be at least 1)"
If I hit Esc while in-game and turn Anti-aliasing to 2x, 4x or 8x, the problem is resolved. If I then turn it back to Off in-game, scatterer still appears fine (even though I notice the edges of the ship no longer has anti-aliasing, i.e. it actually turns off the AA). However if I go back to the main menu and reload the game, scatterer is broken again.
Hope this helps.
EDIT: I also experience the issue explained by Draradech above. If I switch to a vessel far enough from Kerbin everything is black.